The Sullivan Series’ inspiration was a 2010 blog post by Roger Ebert…which in turn led me to this trailer. Louis Henry Sullivan isn’t quite a household name like his protégé, Frank Lloyd Wright, but he is recognized as the father of modernism and of skyscrapers. And Sullivan, for all of his talent, died destitute and alcoholic. Some of his creations are still standing, like the Carson Pirie Scott building in Chicago. But many have been demolished.
Equal parts haunted and ignited by Sullivan’s story, I tried to draw 9 designs in 9 days in his visual language. There were at least 3 all-nighters involved. I could almost feel Sullivan himself looking sternly over my shoulder. In the end, I think I drew 5 or 6 designs. These are the ones that survived. Day 4 took almost a year to finish.
Roger Ebert did see Days 1 and 2, by the way, and he liked them.