Feelings of Flowers
The artist frequently depicts flowers in her paintings. Though flowers themselves have no feelings, the subject affords the artist an opportunity to pour her emotions and tenderness into her depictions of them. While painting flowers, the artist feels grounded in her body and senses; as the flowers begin to droop and wilt, the artist is reminded of the preciousness of the moment.
Sullivan's painting practice evolved out of her work in autobiographical performance and video. The artist's work is a visual manifestation of her psyche, and her paintings serve simultaneously as a diary, a form of psychoanalysis, and an emotional and spiritual exploration of the quotidian aspects of daily life. Sullivan's compositions employ exuberant color and expressive mark-making to transform the personal into the universal.
Sullivan's recent paintings frequently employ fluid watercolors and ink drawings; the artist considers the creation of these works a meditative process. Through her physical manipulation of her materials, Sullivan becomes fully present with her immediate surroundings—flowers, her cat, the kitchen table and other household items, objects, scenes and memories. All of these objects become vessels for feeling and symbolic meaning in the artist's work.
Jennifer Sullivan’s diaristic paintings are a form of psychoanalysis—as well as an emotional and spiritual exploration of the quotidian aspects of daily life. The artist’s work in painting evolved out of her work in autobiographical performance and video. Featuring exuberant color and expressive mark-making, Sullivan’s compositions are manifestations of her psyche that transform the personal into the universal.
Jennifer Sullivan was born in Albany, New York. The artist received a BFA in Sculpture from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1999, and an MFA from Parsons in New York City in 2005. Sullivan also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine.
Solo and two-person exhibitions of Sullivan’s work include: Sleeper at Turn Gallery in New York City (2021); My Pretty Red Heart, with Anna Rosen, at HG Gallery in Chicago, Illinois (2020); Devotional Paintings at Julius Caesar in Chicago, Illinois (2020); Female Sensibility, with Kirsten Stoltmann, at Five Car Garage in Los Angeles, California (2020); Exiled Parts at No Place Gallery in Columbus, Ohio (2019); and Stretch Marks at Real Estate Fine Art in Brooklyn, New York (2018); among others.
Group exhibitions that have shown Sullivan’s work include Muscle Deﬁnition at CPM Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland (2021); Make Me One With Everything at Grizer in New York City (2020); 20/20 at Peter Blum Gallery in New York City (2019); Tomer Aluf, Sacha Ingber, Jennifer Sullivan at Brennan and Griﬃn in New York City (2018); Friends of Marvin Gardens at Rod Barton in London, UK (2018); NADA NY in New York City (2017); Drawings at Klaus von Nichtsaggend in New York City (2015); and Walden, Revisited at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts (2014); among others.
Sullivan has won numerous awards, including a City Artist Grant from NYFA in New York City (2021); and fellowships with Paint School in New York City (2020) and at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts (2012–13). The artist has participated in residencies at Lighthouse Works in Fishers Island, New York; Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan; and Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Sullivan’s work has been reviewed in: The New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Areorum, and Art Papers.
Sullivan’s videos are featured in the Geisel Library Collection at the University of California in San Diego.
Sullivan lives and works in New York City.
Though flowers themselves have no feelings, the subject affords the artist an opportunity to pour her emotions and tenderness into her depictions of them. While painting flowers, the artist feels grounded in her body and senses; as the flowers begin to droop and wilt, the artist is reminded of the preciousness of the moment.More