The Autobiography of Bill Sullivan

The Autobiography of Bill Sullivan"With only a tinge of irony, Bill Sullivan makes new the vast spaces and swooning optimism of nineteenth-century Luminist painting. Reaffirming the contemplation of nature as its own reward, he also sets new tasks for painting and undertakes them with compelling eagerness. While there has been a tendency among some contemporary artists to present a revisionist view of the 'great outdoors' of nineteenth-century landscape painters, Sullivan has no satirical agenda. After spending several years in South America amid the landscapes that attracted Frederic Edwin Church and Martin Heade, among others, he refined and strengthened this awesome imagery after returning to New York. A certain surreality floats through these vaporous visions of Colombia, though this may just be the result of Sullivan's careful documentation of scenes that looked unreal to begin with."

—John Ashbery

"Bill Sullivan's paintings are the work of an artist expressing himself at the peak of his power. He paints with a masterly craft and has a talent for deciphering the meaning of nature. His landscapes of known and unknown worlds reveal realities new to us. His work is an exaltation, a desolate yet fully realized splendor, which he renders with the serenity and wisdom of someone for whom light and color are familiar instruments used to create mystery. His roots and concerns take him from a dreamy, organic, and telluric world toward limitless horizons where the real and the magical (intelligence and imagination) merge in perfect balance. We salute Sullivan, an excellent painter whose fervor deserves our gratitude."

—Reinaldo Arenas

Jaime Manrique with painting by Bill Sullivan


Exhibition catalogue. Hudson, NY: Groundwater Press, 2006.

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