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Press Release

Sullivan Goss is excited to announce PAPER TRAIL: The Life Story of Great Works of Art – an exhibition focusing on the significance of how art moves through the world and across time. From the artist’s studio to the walls of Sullivan Goss, a work might pass through a prestigious collection or two. It might have been shown in numerous gallery or museum exhibitions. It might have been published or promoted. It might even have been secreted out of a country. Traditionally, provenance is defined as the record of ownership, and it is often key to establishing the authenticity of historic works of art. To ensure authenticity, it is ideal to be able to trace the complete history of an artwork from the artist’s studio to the present day. Documentation is crucial. Gallery and auction sales may leave a paper trail. Certainly, institutional exhibitions do. Of course, publication is critical: art books, newspapers and magazines leave an actual paper record of the travels and highlights from an art work’s journey. At each step, an implicit endorsement of the work’s value is made. Every dealer, publisher, and patron puts up their money and their time. From the documentary record, curators, dealers and collectors glean some part of the unique life story for each piece of art. Reading the paper trail correctly, each player hopes to see how a particular piece stacks up against the artist’s entire body of work. 

At Sullivan Goss, we are always working to demystify the art world for visitors and patrons, so that anyone who is interested can get a greater understanding of how and why works of art might be considered particularly important or valuable. For this exhibition, this effort became the central theme of the show. PAPER TRAIL will feature both historical and contemporary works that have been made in important ateliers, owned by important art world figures, exhibited in museums, or published in magazines and catalogues. It will also be the first time that the gallery will exhibit an NFT (Non Fungible Token), which, once you get past the current media hype, is a technology that its inventors hope will revolutionize the establishment of provenance for digital art in the 21st Century.

ARTISTS INCLUDED: John Edmund Califano, Patiricia Chidlaw, Colin Campbell Cooper, Leon Dabo, Lockwood de Forest, Edgar Ewing, Oskar Fischinger, Joseph Goldyne, Sidney Gordin, Nathan Huff, Wosene Worke Kosrof, Dan Lutz, Susan McDonnell, Chris Peters, Hank Pitcher, Edward Potthast, Nicole Strasburg, Jean Swiggett, and William Wendt.

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