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Art Review: Gritty realism displayed in Sullivan art show at Artspace at Untitled

Art Review: James Sullivan's “Le Corps Propre (One's Own Body)” show is at Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE 3.
Modified: December 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm •  Published: December 13, 2013

There is something haunting and evocative as well as gritty and real about the “Man Carrying Rocks” in James Sullivan's “Le Corps Propre (One's Own Body)” show at Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE 3.

Made from plaster, straw and steel, the Dallas artist's “Everyman” has his hands full of white rocks, held at the waist with another pile on the floor. Echoing the life-size man nicely is a slightly smaller and possibly female “Figure,” made from the same materials. Equally striking is “Head + Breath,” a large, almost Easter Island-like bust of a person with a long neck, enclosed in a metal support structure.

Rivaling the visual impact of these figures is that of a “Bulbous” form connected to a pole, suspended in space and installed near the gallery's entrance.

Two loose, gestural 2007 charcoal drawings of a “Large Rock,” surrounded by white space, further underline the connection between human beings and objects, as do four digital prints of a dark “Rock.”

Displayed on long tables, on the floor, and in a white chest with six drawers attached to the wall are many other found or artistically formulated objects, which make the show feel like an installation.

Born in 1952 in Evanston, Ill., Sullivan has shown his work internationally, at museums in Texas and Germany, and was a visiting critic in drawing at the Yale University architecture school from 1984 to 2003.

— John Brandenburg


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