Derek Sullivan: Bookworks

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 6:00pm

Derek Sullivan Bookworks MacLaren Art Centre Barrie, ON

June 29 to October 27th, 2019

"His major solo exhibition at the MacLaren, installed in two galleries, explores what Sullivan describes as “the poetics of distribution,” bringing together sculptural and drawn works that examine how books are printed, assembled and disseminated. This exhibition is accompanied by a critical text by Los Angeles-based artist and writer Jen Hutton"

Derek Sullivan is a graduate from York University (BFA, 1998) and the University of Guelph (MFA, 2002). His recent solo exhibitions include those at Galerie Antoine Ertaskarin, Montreal; Susan Hobbs, Toronto; Dunlop Gallery, Regina; Oakville Galleries; Modern Fuel, Kingston; and Galerie Emmanuel Hervé, Paris. His work is held in the collections of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Getty Museum Archives and Library, Los Angeles; and the Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others.

Venue & Address: 
MacLaren Art Center Gallery 3 and the Carnegie Room 37 Mulcaster Street Barrie, ON
Photo of light coming through a window

¶ * † ‡ : Derek Sullivan 

Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 10:00am to Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 5:00pm

Derek Sullivan 

¶ * † ‡

Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto

October 18 - November 24, 2018


Derek Sullivan’s drawing series examines the question of how a book is perceived and the potential it carries. While many can appreciate a good story transporting us to a different head space, Sullivan wonders about the spaces a book physically travels throughout its lifetime. How many places does a book travel to and what does it pick up along the way?

In ¶ * † ‡, a closer look at Art Metropole’s Evidence of the Avant Garde Since 1957 reveals 6 new drawings that depict what one can only guess is the beginning of the book’s journey – the printing stage. In each work, 8 pages of the catalogue sit on the surface horizontally, forming a signature. The tops of the pages face one another, inviting a tilt of the head to read the content. The de-familiarized portrait of the book serves to emphasize the physicality of the codex.

Art Metropole’s original book illustrates a period in the artist-run centre’s existence that analyzed the distributive works from their collection up to 1984 when it was first published. As the front cover of the book states, “Evidence of the Avant Garde Since 1957 consists of: selected works from the collection of Art Metropole including audio tapes, records, videotapes, film, multiples, kitsch, manuscripts, stamps, buttons, flyers, posters, correspondence, catalogues, porn, t-shirts, postcards, drawings, poems, mailers, books, photographs and ephemera”. Sullivan’s drawings play with the content, serving as a replica to the original publication, while also introducing content that is replicable and multipliable in its essence. Signifiers collide and scatter on the surface, suspending the timeline of where content begins and where it ends.





Venue & Address: 
Susan Hobbs Gallery, 137 Tecumseth Street Toronto, Canada
illustration with text and botanical image

Derek Sullivan in Since Then

Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 10:00am to Saturday, December 30, 2017 - 6:00pm

Since Then, Curated by Kegan McFadden

Kamloops Art Gallery 

September 23 to December 30, 2017

Rebecca Belmore, Garry Neill Kennedy, Justin Sorensen, Dana Claxton, Janet Kigusiuq, Derek Sullivan, Leah Decter, Cheryl L'Hirondelle, Ione Thorkelsson, Demian Dinéyazhi', Kent Monkman, Rachael Thorleifson, Mark Emerak, Peter Morin, Chih-Chien Wang, Cliff Eyland, Lisa Myers, Christopher Wool, Félix González-Torres, Jude Norris, Helga Jakobson, Rúrí

Postulating what the future might hold, this exhibition looks to histories of survival as a starting point for a conversation about the possibilities of endurance, cross-cultural exchange and legacy. By looking at artwork that depicts survival, that alludes to hybridity and transformation, and that carries with it the physical markers of distress as part of their conceptual make-up, Since Then challenges preconceived notions of what it is to endure from both a historical and a contemporary point of view.

This sprawling, multi-faceted group exhibition poses questions about what it means to survive and how the markers of survival sometimes, necessarily, force a dialogue about its opposite.

Venue & Address: 
Kamloops Art Gallery 101 – 465 Victoria Street Kamloops, BC
abstract artwork with gradation of light to dark

Derek Sullivan, Faculty of Art, presents: On Filling In

books with white covers scattered on the floor around a low laying structure
Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 4:00am to Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 5:00am

Please join us for the opening on Thursday, 20 October from 6 to 8 p.m.

For his first exhibition with the gallery, Derek Sullivan presents new drawings completed while on residency in Paris. Although not specifically ‘about’ the city, they do gesture towards the activity of walking, marching, approaching—extended processes of encounter with a specific environment, at a particular time. Each drawing depicts a could-be book, not likely a would-be book. Books of technicolour shapes and patterns; books of men sculpted either in marble or through the act of sport; books of the stuff of metro tickets and scraps of paper that float from our hands to the street; books that form an index of time spent reading, looking, and considering.
For Sullivan books are tools, able to both find and possess functions outside the intent of author, designer, printer, binder, publisher, distributor, seller, reviewer, and reader. Therefore, along with a site-specific installation, this exhibition explores the before-life and after-life of books to shift the emphasis towards a book’s circumstances and away from its contents. For while books may be both literally and figuratively heavy, they are also flexible. Their meaning and physicality mutates over time to perform a variety of roles: 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.

For more information please contact the gallery or visit our website.

Venue & Address: 
Susan Hobbs Gallery 137 Tecumseth Street Toronto, Canada M6J 2H2
416 504 3699

Collage Party

Sunday, March 9, 2008 - 5:00am to Wednesday, March 12, 2008 - 4:00am

Derek Sullivan, OCAD Faculty of Art Instructor, is part of the Collage Party Artist Team.
Collage Party, Paul Butler's nomadic world-wide studio experience lands at the JMB Gallery and you are invited to participate!
On Sunday, March 9, join in this free-form art jam-session: make collages with local artists and take advantage of an exploratory, informal space organized around play, interaction and experimentation.
Starting Thursday, March 6, a select team of local artists (specializing in a spectrum of media work) will transform the gallery space into a shared studio/lounge, where invited artists will be free to experiment like an art school, but without the teachers or assignments.
From March 9 through March 12, everyone is invited to join in the activities; drop by the JMB Gallery to make some art, listen to music, collaborate, and see what the Collage Party Artist Team has been up to. Hang out and contribute to the creation of an autonomous zone designed to assemble, connect, and engage.
Artists in attendance on Sunday, March 9.
Supplies provided, but feel free to bring some of your own to the mix!
Collage Party Artist Team: Micah Lexier, Derek Sullivan, Roula
Partheniou, Maura Doyle, Tyler Clark-Burke, Sandy Plotnikoff, Anitra
Hamilton, Kristan Horton, Dave Dyment, Zin Taylor, Kerri Reid, Katie
Bethune-Leamen, Jon Sasaki and more...
Paul Butler is a Winnipeg artist and has organized Collage Party all around the world for the past several years. He is also the director of The Other Gallery, a web-based nomadic gallery.
This event is part of the U of T Festival of the Arts which runs March 3-20. Where Creativity Takes Centre Stage. For details visit

Venue & Address: 
JMB Gallery, Hart House, U of T 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, Ontario

Derek Sullivan: Poster Drawings Cross of Empire

Monday, October 22, 2007 - 4:00am to Saturday, November 3, 2007 - 4:00am

For his second exhibition at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Derek Sullivan will show a new series of large drawing and fabric pieces. In this series of coloured pencil and gouache drawings Sullivan adopts the poster idiom as a means of accommodating contradictory and changing meanings, as well as minor epiphanies and ephemeral references. In his new laser cut fabric pieces Sullivan mashes up well-known phrases into collapsible web-like sculptures.
For the installation of this exhibition Sullivan will pierce the architecture to create an unbroken row of works claiming the entire west wall of the gallery.

Venue & Address: 
Jessica Bradley Art + Projects 1450 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Derek Sullivan, Faculty of Art, showing "Choices, choices, choices"

Photo of a hand holding up an artwork
Friday, September 16, 2016 - 4:00am to Saturday, November 12, 2016 - 5:00am

Derek Sullivan

Choices, choices, choices
16.09.- 12.11.2016
vernissage le 16 septembre, 16-21h00
opening September 16, 4 - 9pm



6 rue Jouye-Rouve
FR-75020 Paris
Tel +33 (0)9 51 10 96 58

Mercredi - Samedi / Wednesday - Saturday / Quarta - Sábado
14h00 - 19h00 / 2 - 7pm /

Venue & Address: 
GALERIE EMMANUEL HERVE 6 rue Jouye-Rouve FR-75020 Paris

Derek Sullivan to exhibit in Showroom, a group exhibition including OCADu faculty and alumni

neon letters "Skyline"
Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 5:00am to Saturday, March 5, 2016 - 5:00am

A survey exhibition of Toronto works that have emerged within a period of rapid urban development and concomitant transformations in representation of the city.

Opening reception: Thursday, January 21, 7:00 - 9:00pm

Curated by Sarah Robayo Sheridan.

Works by Abbas Akhavan, Nadia Belerique, Jeff Bierk, Adrian Blackwell, Bill Burns, James Carl, Miles Collyer, Georgia Dickie, Ryan Ferko, Eric Glavin, Maggie Groat, Jesse Harris, Oliver Husain, Lili Huston-Herterich, Kelly Jazvac, Will Kwan, Life of a Craphead, Jimmy Limit, Corwyn Lund, Annie MacDonell, Vanessa Maltese, Kelly Mark, John Massey, Niall McClelland, Olia Mishchenko, Nick Ostoff, Roula Partheniou, Sandy Plotnikoff, Jade Rude, Jon Sasaki, Liana Schmidt, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Derek Sullivan, Margaux Williamson, Laurel Woodcock, VSVSVS.

Showroom is an exhibition that considers how artists have responded to the ubiquity of lifestyle marketing as a determining feature of the cityscape. A showroom is an aspirational space, not quite plausible except as image, devoid of the texture and details necessary to render a full life, but delivering something life-like. Where real estate sales rhetoric has appropriated the artist as a benign element in the landscape, Showroom reverses the figure/ground relationship in order to identify particular nodes of production amongst artists working here. This exhibition and related public programs sustain our engagement with developing Toronto art histories. Showroom constitutes the largest survey of Toronto artists within the combined history of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and University of Toronto Art Centre.

Venue & Address: 
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and University of Toronto Art Centre

Derek Sullivan: The Missing Novella

abstract artwork
Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 1:00pm to Sunday, January 3, 2016 - 10:00pm

The work of Toronto-based artist Derek Sullivan builds on historical legacies of both conceptualism and modernist art and design. For his solo exhibition at Oakville Galleries, Sullivan will stage Gairloch Gardens as a fictional country house akin to those described by authors such as E.M. Forster and Patricia Highsmith. Featuring installations of books, screens and furniture sculptures; wall drawing; and a selection of recent works from his ongoing Poster Drawings series—including new works referencing decorative mirrors—Sullivan reimagines Gairloch estate as the setting of oblique narratives of class conflict, romance, family melodrama, and murder.

Venue & Address: 
Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens