150 Artists

23/150: Derek Sullivan – Cacophony

It’s been said that Derek Sullivan (b: 1976) creates a “cacophony of messages” in his drawing, painting, sculpture and book works, as is the case with his current exhibition at La Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montreal.

Installation View, Montreal exhibition / Poster Drawing

Central to the show is Sullivan’s Poster Drawing series, ongoing since 2005. This is a group of uniformly formatted works on paper, akin to promotional posters found in public transport or on bedroom walls.

The show also includes Mirrors (above),  drawings meant to represent standard everyday 18 x 24″ bathroom mirrors, the type found in institutional toilets or installed in rental apartments. The drawings are attempts to capture the reflective surface in these everyday objects, however they inevitably become more about pattern and surface.

In one of Sullivan’s best known exhibitions, “Albatross Omnibus,” his drawings and posters were shown on a zigzagging wall that ran throughout the gallery, taking on the appearance of an open book. This led to and from a central installation of 52 artist’s books suspended from the ceiling, to be read from step ladders.

Sullivan has been featured in numerous exhibitions and has been nominated five times for the prestigious Sobey Art Award. His works in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada are currently on view in the upcoming survey exhibition Our Masterpieces, Our Stories.

Derek Sullivan’s website, here.

On exhibition in Montreal, here.

CV and exibition list, here



This is #23 in the series 150 Artists.

2 replies »

  1. He is obviously talented, brilliant and taking us into the future. It is of great interest to me that you chose him for one of the 150. I will be watching his future creations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • He’s an interesting talent, so focused. With several series he’s been working on consistently for years. That’s often a sign of a persistent rise to come. Although of course I’m only following an instinct. We’ll see!


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