Statement and CV 

Patrick O'Sullivan

Studied: Norwich school of Art 1985 to 88
                   University of Alberta   1988 to 91

Selected shows:

"Transendence",      The Cello 
                                          Factory, London  2018

The Cut,                       Halesworth            2016

APT Gallery,               London                     2016    

Tokarska Gallery,    London                      2013

Boxfield Gallery,      Stevenage               2012

The 491 Gallery,     London                      2009

Cable St,                      London                     2001

Regularly exhibited in one person and group shows between 1992 and 2018

Next exhibition:


Statement by Hywel Livingstone 2016

What is the difference between a sculpture and a painting? Must a painting have a frame? At what point does painting become three dimensional? Questions beget answers as the inner pedant is revealed, yet as with most theoretical questions the answer is elusive, often dependent on the tenacity of the person arguing the point.
    Patrick O'Sullivan is too shrewd an artist to take a side in this argument, prefering to allow his work to speak for itself. O'Sullivan takes his unique understanding of both painting and sculpture and combines it with his sharply observed understanding of viewer behavior to create works that move with pre-possessing ease between both mediums. The works are confident in their hybridity, defying us to deal with them rather than pander to any convention. When confronted with these pre-dominantly wall based works we're initially struck by their precariousness and the random layering of shapes. It is as if these MDF components have been drawn into life on an engineer's or architects table, each part designed to appear to be doing something it has no physical right to do, whist simultaneously basking in its own physicality. O'Sullivan teases us with illusion and reassures us with fact in equal measure.
    Inherent in these works is a streak of humour borne from the quais-absurd approach to making - O'Sullivan seems to delight in the pointlessness involved. He respectfully alludes to architectural motifs such as shelves, door frames, buildings and so on, before seeking out a solution to a problem that never existed before and that these de-contextualised objects have no business in trying to solve. In doing so, the solution creates the problem, which then solves itself in a strange and surreal tautology. Of course, as we all know (here the pedant returns) art does not necessarily need a function other than confirming its own existance and these works certainly do that. Yet such is the clarity of intent involved in the process of their making and the instinctive familiarity of the domestic shapes before us, we find ourselves almost in awe of their independence as they wilfully stand before us, content to keep us guessing.