Mark W. Mulhern (1951 - )

Birth date: 1951 Death date:  
Birth location: Portage, Wisconsin Death location:  
Media: Graphic Art , Photography Web site:
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Mark Mulhern
Born 1951 in Portage, Wisconsin


Since childhood, Mark Mulhern always knew he wanted to be an artist. Today he is a well-known painter and printmaker living and working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1973, he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee and later studied in Paris with S. W. Hayter from 1976-77. He then returned to Wisconsin and earned a Master of Fine Arts from UW-Madison in 1978. He became an instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 1980.

He realized success early in his career after participating in solo and group exhibitions in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York. He lived briefly in New York but returned to Milwaukee preferring the slower pace and affordability even though it put him at a distance from the center of the art world. However, he has continued to be included in important exhibitions featuring nationally known artists.

Mulhern’s early expressionistic works were largely autobiographical, reflecting the inner turmoil of his life. The large figurative paintings were executed in bold colors with dreamlike discordant imagery. He said, “The figures in my work are caught in subtle gestures that suggest introspection and states of being.”  In later years his paintings have become more cheerful, featuring simplified figures and floral subject matter describing moments in everyday life. He also uses monotype as a medium, creating large prints from paintings on glass.

He has received numerous awards including a Wisconsin Arts Board Grant in 1990 and the Mary L. Knoll Fellowship Wisconsin Arts Board Grant in 2003. He is represented in numerous private and museum collections in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Paris and the Czech Republic.

(Biography contributed by Anne-Lee Geiger.)

Wisconsin Affiliations

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Wisconsin Art Organizations

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