Catherine Sullivan works in a variety of media including film and theater. Her work is concerned with the psychic dilemmas of the performer and the historical and stylistic regimes that mediate our reception of performance. She has produced several performances, theater works and films wherein the performers are often coping with written texts, stylistic economies, re-enactments of historic performances, gestural and choreographic regimes, and conceptual orthodoxies. The works address a broad spectrum of historical and cultural reference and often involve multiple collaborators such as composer Sean Griffin. Her work is often staged and shot on sets for unrelated productions and in settings that project social function beyond the mise en scène Sullivan builds within them. What emerges from the numerous layers of collaboration and reference is an anxious and unresolved political and social sensibility. Her work has been exhibited and staged nationally and internationally at venues such as the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Secession, Vienna; Kunsthalle Zurich; Tate Modern, London; Opéra de Lyon, Lyon; Volksbühne, Berlin and The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. She is represented by Metro Pictures, New York, Galerie Catherine Bastide, Brussels and Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerp/Berlin. Film works have been screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and Berlin International Film Festival.
Awards include: United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2008); Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (2004/5); Herb Alpert Foundation (2004); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2003); and Etants Donnèes (2002)
Selected collections include: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Rubell Family Foundation, Miami; Musée d'Art Contemporain Lyon; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Geotz Collection, Munich; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna.
She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. She holds a BFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and an MFA in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design.