Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

August 29, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will present Provisional Self: Sculpture and Drawings by James W. Sullivan from September 15 through December 8, 2002. The exhibition, which explores themes of the human figure, includes more than 30 sculptures of straw and plaster and numerous aquatints and ink-and-wash drawings created over the past 12 years by Sullivan, whose work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions throughout the country and in Germany.

The works vary from the identifiable to the abstract, from fragments to complete figures. They also vary widely in scale, from a seven-foot-tall head to a life-sized seated figure to extremely intimate figurative objects just a few inches high.

"The notion of the provisional, of the unfinished and ongoing, is at the core of Sullivan's working process," said guest curator of the exhibit Elizabeth Mead, a San Francisco-based sculptor, theater designer and teacher. "The incomplete and unresolved forms present images that are ambiguous, yet human. Their straw and plaster composition gives them an aura of frailty, yet their presence is powerful. At the same time, they invite the viewer to consider his or her own place in the world, parallel to Sullivan's own meditation on the figure and the human."

Three public lectures will be held in the museum in conjunction with the exhibition. Mead will present "Figures, Ciphers, Absence" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept.19, and a gallery talk, "Provisional Proximity," at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Sullivan will give a gallery talk on his work at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

Sullivan holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.F.A. from California State University-Long Beach. He is professor of sculpture and design and chair of the Division of Art at SMU's Meadows School of the Arts.

Provisional Self is part of the museum's year-long "Celebration of Sculpture," which began with an exhibition of silver sculptures from Mexico, Jun. 30-Aug. 25, 2002, and will conclude with a show of recent works by contemporary sculptor James Surls from Jan. 24-Apr. 20, 2003. "Celebration of Sculpture" is made possible in part by a gift from The Meadows Foundation.

Admission to the Meadows Museum is free; admission to the Provisional Self exhibition is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors 60 and older and $3 for children 3-12. Museum members receive free admission to all special exhibitions. The Meadows Museum is at 5900 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Tues., Fri. and Sat.; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thurs.; and 1-5 p.m. Sun. The museum is closed Wednesdays and holidays. For more information, please call the Meadows Museum at 214-768-2516, or visit the museum Web site at

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