Susan Hobbs

Derek Sullivan

09 Sep - 16 Oct 2021

As a meditation on both the subject and object of things Derek Sullivan continues his experiment in “slow reading” with the final half of the Evidence of the Avant Garde (ex-library) project. He presents 6 “press sheet” drawings of Art Metropole’s remarkable 1984 publication "Evidence of the Avant Garde Since 1957" (an exhibition catalogue charting Art Met's first ten years via their collection of distributed artists projects). The drawings are created using a somewhat shabby ex-library copy and formatted as printer sheets (as they might have appeared as they came off the printing press). Each of the drawings are interrupted by a new secondary scatter that creates an assemblage of content and form that weaves both the material of the catalogue with observations from Sullivan’s every day. Weeds, prisms, rainbows, exhibition pamphlets, metro tickets obscure the pages as a poetic reflection on the unpredictable pathways and networks that works-in-multiple move upon.

The exhibition also includes a selection of 2021 drawings from the series Every day is the same. Every day is different. This project includes a sequence of daily drawings that arises out of tracings of an Enzo Mari-designed Formosa perpetual calendar (produced by Danese Milano in the early 1960s). The calendar, an ex-display from a bookstore Sullivan worked at in his 20’s, seemed to speak to the current rhythms of living in pandemic lockdown. Pandemic time wanes like that of a perpetual calendar — as an asynchronous rhythm that hums like the murmured heartbeat of the Avant Garde. The process of a drawing-a-day: Trace each panel. Update the day. Finish the drawing before going to bed. Each one different, each one the same.