Matt Mullican

Fifty years of artistic creation

The Possehl Prize for International Art is awarded every three years, and in 2022 the winner is Matt Mullican (*1951). With their decision the jury made up of representatives of internationally renowned art institutions are celebrating the life’s work of this American artist, who continues to have a significant influence on younger generations of artists to this day. As part of the prize Mullican has the opportunity to give us an in-depth look at his creative work over the past fifty years. The show takes place at various venues in Lübeck over a period of six months. Curator of the project is Oliver Zybok.


Exhibitions in Lübeck


Cathedral Lawn, Domkirchhof, Lübeck

17 July – 9 October 2022

Matt Mullican starts his retrospective MAPPING THE WORLD with a sculptural object: a circular bedding with flowers of many colours on the lawn outside Lübeck Cathedral. He will be using black petunias, red busy Lizzies, white sweet alyssum, blue lobelias and yellow burr marigolds. This is the first time in Germany that the artist has used bedding plants to depict his universe of colours and shapes, after creating one floral installation in Antwerp.

If the choice of colour plays an important role in Mullican’s cosmology, so do simple geometric shapes like circles, triangles and squares, because their clarity makes them easy both to use and be perceived as symbols, and in their general interpretation they are already invested with meaning. A circle, for example, is the epitome of a symbol for life. This clear structure is exemplified on the Cathedral Lawn in the reduced range of colours and shapes and runs through all the exhibition venues in Lübeck like a thread. 


European Hansemuseum, An der Untertrave 1, 23552

23 September – 13 November 2022

The artist has created a chalk installation for the roof terrace of the European Hansemuseum (more information will follow).


St. Peter's Church, Petrikirchhof, Lübeck

9 October – 6 November 2022

Opening: 8 October 2022, 5.00 pm

The floral installation on the Cathedral Lawn is an important, extensive and horizontal work, whereas in St. Peter's Church he will be showing large, three-piece works on canvas, presented vertically. This venue brings together Mullican’s entire vernacular of shapes, but in a reduced chromatic scale of black and white. 

Matt Mullican, Berlin Block, 2019/20, exhibition view „Entering the Picture“, Galerija Kula, Split, 2020


Kunsthalle St. Annen, St. Annen-Straße 15, Lübeck

30 October 2022 – 08 January 2023

Opening & award ceremony: 29 October, 7 pm


Matt Mullican, ohne Titel, 2017

Finally, from late October onwards, the Kunsthalle St. Annen in Lübeck will be hosting an impressive exhibition illustrating the diversity of the artist’s chosen media. In addition to paintings and rubbings, some of them in giant dimensions, the presentations include steel sculptures, photographs, glass objects, performances, videos and computer animations, assembled in large-scale installations and arrangements that interact with their respective surroundings.



St. Peter's Church, Petrikirchhof, 23552 Lübeck

15 Oktober 2022, 6 pm

More information will follow.

The meaning of life and the order of the world

The prizewinner Matt Mullican is a leading representative of what is known as the Pictures Generation, a group of artists who began to explore the impact of mass media images on everyday perception from the late 1960s and so declared them to be an established element of artistic endeavour. The artist addresses existential questions that seem perfectly simple, but are in fact highly complex. Where do I come from? Where am I going to? He asks questions about the meaning of life and the order of the world, and has for decades been working on a artistic classification system for his worldview, which he attempts to capture through installations in a wide range of media, some of which take up considerable space. His work extends over many different fields, ranging from painting and various reprographic techniques through to sculptures and performances; his exhibitions always interact with the specific features of the surrounding space.

Mullican was Professor for Time-based Media at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg until 2019 and currently lives and works in Berlin and New York. His artistic development has taken him in groundbreaking directions that further break down the boundaries between art and other disciplines. Above all, he tries to take the distinction between high and low art to the absurd, because in his opinion it restricts creativity.

Matt Mullican, Exhibition at Hangar Bicocca, Mailand, 2018

Matt Mullican has visited the Hanseatic city of Lübeck a few times in the past and was delighted by the opportunities that the prize would afford him.


1. Mullican with Bernd Schwarze; 2. with Antje-Britt Mählmann; 3. with curator Oliver Zybok; 4. in front of the Holsten Gate

Press information

Our partner for PR and Marketing is ARTEFAKT Kulturkonzepte, Ursula Rüter & Stefan Hirtz, Marienburger Str. 16, 10405 Berlin;  + 49 (0) 30 / 440 10 686; mail(at)

Press photos and more information are available at

Your contact at the Possehl Foundation

Sylvia Teske-Schlaak; +49 451 148 219; stiftung.teske(at)


Possehl Foundation Lübeck

Beckergrube 38 – 52
D-23552 Lübeck
E-Mail: possehl-stiftung(at)
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200

Find Out More

Our publications

More about the Foundation

Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, and the brand eins Wissen magazine to mark our 100th anniversary.


Emil Possehl's bequest

Our articles of association

The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.