opening on Thursday, 20 October from 6 to 8 p.m. and continuing through to 26 November, Susan Hobbs Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Derek Sullivan.
For his first exhibition with the gallery Derek Sullivan will present a series of new drawings that explore the before-life and after-life of books. Each drawing depicts a proto-book, a book on the edge of becoming. And then, within each drawing are eight smaller drawings. Drawings of technicolour shapes and patterns; drawings of men sculpted either in marble or through the act of sport; drawings of paper, the stuff of metro tickets and scraps of paper that float from our hands to the street; drawings of what we spend our time reading. Together, within each composition, they combine to form a signature―a stage in book production where groups of pages are printed on both sides of a single sheet of paper before being folded, trimmed, bound and cut, to become a finished book. Looking, reading, and trying to apprehend the completely de-familiarized and fragmented shape of a signature, the viewer is left without knowing if these are mock-ups for books complete or, if they are the fragments of larger volumes. Either way, we are left to fill in, to close the gap of understanding that Sullivan initiates.
Upstairs, a site-specific installation considers the many roles that books perform, whether spatially as objects that occupy our environments; emotionally and intellectually as things that organize and enrich our lives; or professionally as bearers of legitimacy. In all cases, there is no getting around their weight. For Sullivan, books are investigated as tools—able to both find and possess functions outside the intent of author, designer, printer, binder, publisher, distributor seller, reviewer, and reader.
Derek Sullivan was born in Toronto in 1976. He earned his BFA from York University in 1998 and his MFA from the University of Guelph in 2002. Recent solo exhibitions include Oakville Galleries, Oakville; Modern Fuel, Kingston; Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto; The Power Plant, Toronto; KIOSK, Ghent, Belgium; University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener; Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; and Toronto Sculpture Garden, Toronto. Numerous group shows include National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museo Marino Marini, Florence; Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna; The Swiss Institute, New York; and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne. His work is held in several public collections including National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; CDLA, Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche, France; Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Bibliothèque de France, Paris; Getty Museum Archives and Library, Los Angeles; Guelph Art Gallery, Guelph; Perimeter Institute, Waterloo; and University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo as well as private and corporate collections in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Oakville, Barcelona, Brussels, Paris. He was a 2016 recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Paris Studio residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts.
Susan Hobbs Gallery is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located at 137 Tecumseth Street, Toronto.
For further biographical information, other inquiries about this exhibition, or the Susan Hobbs Gallery, please give us a call at (416) 504.3699 or visit www.susanhobbs.com.