ALBANY, NY.- The Albany Institute of History & Art will opened a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Bill Sullivan, a contemporary American painter and printmaker whose art has been the subject of numerous shows both nationally and internationally. The Autobiography of Bill Sullivan features more than 60 landscape paintings from the last forty years of Sullivans career.
Sullivans stunning landscapes range from iconic views of New York State, including the Hudson River, Catskill Mountains, Niagara Falls and New York City, to the mountains, volcanoes and waterfalls of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. In his work, Sullivan captures the soul of the place by combining his keen sense of observation with memory and imagination.
I have spent my life as an artist trying to define a subjective reality that runs a gauntlet of emotional extremes, Sullivan explains.
Though grounded in principles of Abstract Expressionism, Sullivan admired the work of realist painters Fairfield Porter, Jane Freilicher and Neil Welliver. Another significant influence on Sullivans work has been the poetry of New York State Poet Laureate John Ashbery. One of his greatest inspirations was nineteenth-century Hudson River School artist Frederic Church; he spent two years traveling in Churchs footsteps in South America to paint many of the same sites.
Bill Sullivan received his M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Since then, he has had more than fifteen one-person shows in New York City, where he resided for much of his career. His paintings are represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum, the Museum of the City of New York and the Albany Institute of History & Art and more than one hundred private collections. Sullivan now makes his home in Hudson, New York, (Columbia County) in the heart of the Hudson Valley. He is considered by many to be the painter of the Hudson River.
Bill Sullivans paintings are the work of an artist expressing himself at the peak of his power, wrote Reinaldo Arenas, the late Cuban poet, novelist and playwright, in 1983. 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.