That she says that we were just make-believe
But I thought she said maple leaves
– Jens Lekman
But I Thought You’d Said “Maple Leaves”, Derek Sullivan‘s second solo exhibition at Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran opens Wednesday May 22, 5PM–8PM. This new body of work is comprised of several new additions to the Poster Drawings series as well as an important sculpture. Sullivan’s multidisciplinary practice employs drawing, sculpture, book works, and installation to engage with the legacy of modernist art and design. Books and the act of reading have consistently been central to Sullivan’s practice.
Referring to the song Maple Leaves (2004) by Swedish pop singer Jens Lekman, the title evokes honest mistakes, or something that is slightly different from what one thought it was. In Sullivan’s work, the word “leaves” suggests on the one hand the act of drawing, i.e. the work on paper itself, as well as the representations of organic leaves. In one drawing a bouquet of daffodils appears to lay on top of pages from a Paul Klee book, activating the space between the viewer and the image with a botanical interruption.
Ongoing since 2005, the Poster Drawings are uniformly formatted works on paper. Akin to promotional posters found in public transport or on bedroom walls, the works use the changing rhythm of advertising as a structure for an exploration of high and low cultural vernaculars. The works vary between monochromatic geometric abstractions, repeating patterning that recalls late modernist art and graphic design, figurative allusions, as well as most recently, drawn and folded book signatures. In these new drawings, CMYK print marks are made visible, imitating press sheet grid, as a reference to book-printing processes.
Derek Sullivan (b. 1976, Richmond Hill, Ontario) received his BFA from York University in Toronto and his MFA from the University of Guelph. Solo exhibitions include The Booklover at the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), Albatross Omnibus at The Power Plant (Toronto), The Missing Novella at the Oakville Galleries (Oakville), Bulletin Board at Whitecolumns (New York) and More Young Americans at Kiosk (Ghent, Belgium). Sullivan has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including BNL MTL 2012 (Montreal), Where do I end and you begin at City Art Centre (Edimburgh) and Blue times at Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna). His books, prints and editions have been published by Paul & Wendy Projects (Toronto), Art Metropole (Toronto), Boabooks (Geneva), NSCAD Lithography Workshop (Halifax), Printed Matter Inc. (New York) and Bywater Bros.(Toronto). Sullivan has been nominated five times for the prestigious Sobey Art Award, being shortlisted in 2012. His works can be found in numerous public and corporate collections including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Getty Museum Archives and Library (Los Angeles), the Royal Bank of Canada Collection (Toronto), the Bank of Montreal Collection (Toronto), the TD Bank Group Collection (Toronto) as well as private collections in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and Spain. Derek Sullivan lives and works in Toronto and Forest Mills, Ontario.
Wednesday May 22, 5PM–8PM
Artist in attendance