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Erin Sullivan

Copyright © 2019 Todd Merrill All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

Todd Merrill

Todd Merrill & Associates, Inc. 80 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10013 Printed in the United States of America Sullivan, Erin. Erin Sullivan / Todd Merrill. 1. artist — monograph. Book design by Dallas Dunn

Self published using Lighting Press, NJ

Todd Merrill Studio For over fifteen years, Todd Merrill Studio has exhibited and purveyed the finest selection of post-war American studio furniture. In 2008, Rizzoli published Merrill’s “Modern Americana: Studio Furniture from High Craft to High Glam”, the first ever authoritative examination of the great studio furniture makers and designers who, from 1940 through the 1990s defined American high style. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Rizzoli published an expanded edition in 2018, adding 60 pages to his original book. This survey of the period included two additional chapters highlighting the importance of Women Makers and Showrooms. In 2009, shortly after the initial publication of “Modern Americana”, Merrill launched Studio Contemporary, in an effort to develop and represent the work of an international group of established and emerging contemporary artists. Today, their work is sought after by a wide range of art and design patrons, from collectors and decorators, to curators and museum academics.  While their work may be functional or historically based, each artist brings a fresh perspective and a desire to express more than just decorative influence. With an ever growing range of mediums--from textile to porcelain, to marble and LEDs--their joint curation at Studio Contemporary relies

upon their shared drive to push those materials to their absolute aesthetic limits. The result: dynamic, handmade, and unique pieces that contribute to today’s increasingly relevant “grey space” between art and design. The gallery has progressively cultivated and established new artists, placing their work into private and public collections which include The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum (New York), The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Museum of Art and Design (New York), The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), The High Museum of Art (Atlanta), and The Brooklyn Museum (New York), and the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pennsylvania), amongst others. The gallery exhibits throughout the year at some of the leading art and design fairs in the world. A selection of these includes The Salon Art + Design (New York);  Design Miami (Basel, Switzerland and Miami); FOG: Design + Art (San Francisco); the Pavilion of Arts and Design (New York, Paris, Geneva, and London); Collectible (Brussels); Masterpiece (London); Collect (London); Gallery Seoul (Seoul); The International Fine Art & Antiques Dealer Show (New York); Zona MACO (Mexico City); Tajan (Paris); Design Days Dubai (Dubai); Art Wynwood (Miami); Art Toronto (Toronto)

Introduction By Todd Merrill

Todd Merrill Studio is pleased to represent renowned American artist Erin Sullivan. Sullivan works principally in bronze to create unique, material-driven studio pieces inspired by landscape and organic, undomesticated life forms. The concepts of time and memory initially attracted Sullivan to bronze as a medium. The material’s ability to survive several millennia brings poetic potency to Sullivan’s process. Under the representation of Todd Merrill Studio, Sullivan creates customizable sculptural furniture pieces using a complex process of three-dimensional assemblage and sculpting. Employing advanced casting techniques; Sullivan constructs exquisite, realistic bronze interpretations of her organic subject matter. At once functional objects and works of art, Sullivan’s pieces are defined by their intricate surfaces and the versatility of their forms; a solid bronze table base may be used as a decorative pillar, a console, a low table base, or as a freestanding sculpture. Her repertoire presents a visual, elegant equilibrium between artifact and nature and art and design.

Sullivan holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied religion, movement, and aesthetics, and from the University of Chile, where she studied fine arts. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and in private collections around the world. Sullivan currently lives and works in New York City.

Bubble Series Erin Sullivan’s Bubble Series is a lively, whimsical composition of cascading bronze bubbles finished in various natural patinas. The unique works are customizable in their size and finish and represent the perfect marriage of form and function. New York-based contemporary sculptor Erin Sullivan employs the labor-intensive lost-wax process to create exquisite, realistic bronze interpretations of her organic subject matter. As Sullivan works on a commission basis, custom dimensions and finishes may be accommodated.

Erin Sullivan’s Bubble Side Table is composed of a vortex of bronze bubbles beneath a flat blackened bronze top. The seemingly viscous bubbles of the side table’s base accumulate at the bottom of the freestanding pillar. The side table may be finished in silver nitrate, bronze, or blackened bronze.

Bronze Bubble Side Table 2016 21H x 17D Inches Silvered Bronze or Blackened Bronze

Inspired by the natural beauty of geodes and pyrite, Erin Sullivan’s Bubble Table is composed of two gleaming bronze towers under a glass top. The sleek, flat plains of the towers encase contrasting outpourings of bubbles much like incised geological curiosities. This table may be reconfigured as two freestanding pillars or as a console, dining, or low table (pictured on next page).

Bubble Table (Console) 2015 Base 28H x 15W x 15D Inches Pictured Glass: 42W x 82L x 1.5H Inches Bronze

Bubble Table (Low) 2015 Base 28H x 15W x 15D Inches Pictured Glass: 42W x 82L x 1.5H Inches Bronze

Erin Sullivan’s Bubble Console is composed of cast bronze bubbles finished with silver nitrate, bronze, or blackened bronze. The two pillars stand beneath a custom smoked glass racetrack top. The arrangement of the console’s pillars in an hourglass formation makes the bubbles appear viscous and the glass top weightless. The console may be rearranged to form two side tables or freestanding sculptures.

Silvered Bronze Bubble Console 2016 84W x 21D x 30H Inches Silvered Cast Bronze

The Flora and Fauna Series The works in Erin Sullivan’s Flora and Fauna Series may be read as functional objects or as freestanding sculptures. The series expresses ideas of time and memory, both constant themes in Sullivan’s repertoire. Casting from materials including serpent skin, alligator skin, and feathers, Sullivan immortalizes the organic, crafting an aesthetic equilibrium between life and death, nature and artifact, and art and design.

Frozen in an upward swirl, Bronze Serpent is a visual expression of movement that immortalizes the ephemeral skin of a serpent.

Fauna Series, Serpent Stool 2015 18.5H x 15D Inches Bronze

Hundreds of feathers were molded and sculpted to create the Feather Stool. The density of the work’s material elegantly contrasts with the lightness of the delicate feather forms.

Fauna Series, Feather Stool 2015 18.5H x 13.75D Inches Bronze or Bronze with Silver Nitrate Patina

Bronze with Silver Nitrate Patina

One of Sullivan’s more whimsical works in the Fauna Series, the Alligator Stool especially conveys Sullivan’s ideas of time and memory. Three alligator feet that protrude from the base of the table playfully distract from the elegance and opulence of the alligator skin relief, lending a sense of playfulness to the work.

Fauna Series, Alligator Stool 2015 18.5H x 15D Inches Bronze

Flora Series, Lily Pad Stool 201 14H x 15D Inches Bronze with Silver Nitrate Patina

Sullivan hand-sculpts each cannabis leaf building layer upon layer to form the stool into a wax model which is then cast in bronze using the lost wax method.

Flora Series, Cannabis Stool 2018 16.5H x 11D Inches Bronze

Erin Sullivan’s unique Bronze Mushroom Shelves offer realistic bronze interpretations of organic subject matter. Appearing to grow from the wall, the Bronze Mushroom Shelves may be exhibited individually or in a group as a large, glistening installation. The work is defined by its intricately detailed surfaces and versatile, varied forms.

Bronze Mushroom Shelves 2016 64H x 11W x 3D Inches Bronze, LED and Horse Hair

Dual Nature Series The Dual Nature series is inspired by the relationship between opposing forces. Borrowing from the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (the acceptance of transience and imperfection), the works in this series reflect dualities in nature like that of the feminine and the masculine or that of the light and the dark.

In Sun and Moon, Sullivan juxtaposes a turbulent, twisted relief cast from actual lava rock with a relief featuring the gentle slopes and folds of an undisturbed stretch of beach to present a metaphorical sun rising over a moon. The monumental sculpture radiates a warm glow with embedded LED lights while a curtain of horsehair dramatically descends from the base of the bronze. Sullivan’s expanding repertoire offers a visual, elegant equilibrium between artifact and nature. Sun and Moon draws inspiration from the ancient Norse legend of the gods Sol (the Sun) and Mani (the Moon). The myth describes the immortal siblings Mani and Sol who, on horse drawn chariots, are engaged in an eternal race circling the earth.

Sun and Moon 2016 81H x 36W x 3D Inches Bronze, LED and Horse Hair

Cast in bronze from a single triangular fragment of burnt old wood, the pictured Fire and Water sconce preserves the natural character of its source material. The sculpted points of the golden bronze relief face upward, radiating a warm glow with embedded LED lights. An attached curtain of blond horsehair dramatically descends from the base of the bronze. The sconce echoes Art Deco motifs.

Fire and Water 2016 64H x 11W x 3D Inches Bronze, LED and Horse Hair

Fire and Water (Single) 2016 11W x 40H x 4D Inches Bronze, LED and Horse Hair

My heartfelt thanks to Todd Merrill for representing my work as only he could; to Greg Glasson, for mentoring me in the art and production of bronze; to Insun and Chris of Beacon Fine Art Foundry, for their mastery, support and friendship; and to Nature, for the infinite inspiration of her beauty.

Todd Merrill


Profile for Todd Merrill Studio

Erin Sullivan  

Sullivan creates customizable sculptural furniture pieces using a complex process of three-dimensional assemblage and sculpting. Employing a...

Erin Sullivan  

Sullivan creates customizable sculptural furniture pieces using a complex process of three-dimensional assemblage and sculpting. Employing a...