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Maurice Sullins et la Tour Eiffel: A Timeless Muse

  • Please note the new date below for this event!

  • Monday, October 30 • 6:30 p.m.

  • Opening Night • Free Admission (but you must register for this program!)

  • On Site • Enter via 54 W. Chicago Ave

  • In English

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Please note the new date for this event, Monday, October 30.

One of his favorite models was… la Tour Eiffel. Thanks to the Hana Pietri Gallery, we are showing many versions of Chicago outsider painter Maurice Sullins’ iconic muse. On opening night, join us for a conversation between the director of Hana Pietri Gallery, Tiphanie Babinet, and Debra Kerr, President and CEO of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. They will discuss the larger context of France and Chicago’s relation to self-taught art/outsider art/art brut, and how architecture transcends the physical form and shapes artistic narratives. Followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Exhibition open from September 27 to December 15 during our business hours.

About Maurice Sullins:

Over the course of his short career spanning fifteen years (1970-1985), Maurice Sullins worked in near isolation and never showed his paintings. He stopped painting in 1986 at which time he was introduced to a columnist at the Chicago Tribune who wrote an enthusiastic article about his paintings and persona. This attracted collectors from around the country and resulted in a retrospective at the Illinois State Museum in 1988. The exhibition received critical acclaim and the following year, the SEITA Museum in Paris held a solo show for him during the centennial celebration of the Eiffel Tower.

​His works, set in brilliantly imagined scenes in Tahiti, France, Spain and Chicago, often reference European or American masters. While he never copied other artists, he transformed and constructed famous recognizable motifs into his own fresh and unique painterly language, believing his purpose was to continue their great work. 

Maurice Sullins died on March 21, 1995 at 84 years old. In 2017, Hana Pietri Gallery became the Sullins estate dealer and presented his first exhibition since 1995 in Chicago that same year. Produced in partnership with the French Consul General of Chicago, the show attracted major attention and marked the beginning of a series of events re-introducing his works to the public.

More about Debra Kerr

Deb Kerr comes to Intuit from a 17-year career at the John G. Shedd Aquarium, where she held progressively responsible positions, including executive vice president from 1999–2010. Kerr serves as an instructor in the Museum Studies Certificate Program in Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies, teaching Successful Museum Management in Today’s Environment, for which she won a teaching excellence award in 2013. Kerr is a member of the American Alliance of Museums and a past board member of the Merit School of Music and the National Veterans Art Museum; past board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and past chair and instructor for its Professional Development Committee and management courses; past chair of the Zoo and Aquarium committee for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions; and past member of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Leaders Council. She is a frequent guest speaker on issues related to museum relevance, teen empowerment and activating the public for social good.

Hana Pietri is an artist-run platform, a studio, gallery + art production space that promotes self-taught and contemporary artists through engaging exhibitions and special projects. Each initiative aims to cultivate an inclusive culture, strengthen bonds between communities and contribute to sustainable efforts that bring lasting, positive change on a local and international scale.​

All projects, including exhibition opening and closing nights, discussions and collaborations are open to the public. In-person viewing of all projects outside of the scheduled public events are by appointment and can be seen virtually on this site. The platform is located in the 350 N. Ogden building in Chicago.

​Contact : [email protected]

These programs are possible in part thanks to the Jean Bodfish Memorial Fund and the support of our partners: Villa Albertine, the French Consulate in Chicago, the Driehaus Museum and Hana Pietri Gallery.

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