Jeffrey attended the SF Art Institute, getting his BFA in painting in 1979. His sources of inspirations include a myriad of artifacts such as Iranian textiles, Pygmy bark paintings, African patterns, even aerial photographs of ancient archeological sites. Not exactly ever referring to any of these sources, Sully works through a process intuitive and deliberate, resulting in structures which feel simultaneously linked to ancient cultures, while shooting off into the future.
With a background in wood sculpture, Sully started with the deliberate building of uniquely shaped painting panels. The shapes give each piece its object reality, clarifying the lack of illusion, and the possibility to make of it what you will. The paintings develop over a period of time, through processes of mark making, scratching, burning layering, assemblage and even changes to the initial shape of the frame.
The surfaces of Sully’s paintings are complicated, and function almost as typographical timelines illuminating the artist’s musings and intuitive process. In this way, the passage of time, and the intentionality of reflection become another layer of the content of his work. Literal layers, and raised surfaces, burnt, scraped, and blurred surfaces, also invite the viewer to mine for meaning.
Although these pieces are open to interpretation, they are not exactly abstractions, and they contain no illusions. Rather than deliberately pointing to something outside of themselves, they are concrete records of the experience of a process and a search for something always unknown. In this way, the discovery of something somehow unexpected is the point of Jeffrey Sully’s artwork, leaving both the artist and the viewer refreshed and reborn.
Jeffrey’s work is in private collections across the United States, and abroad. He continues to exhibit in numerous Bay Area galleries including Gallery Route One in Pt. Reyes, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in Novato and Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco. His works have also been shown nationally at the Coburn Gallery in Ashland Oregon, Red Dot Gallery in Santa Fe New Mexico and Limner Gallery in New York to name a few. Jeffrey also participated in an exhibition of Omani and American Paintings at the US Embassy in Oman.