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Maurice Sullins et la Tour Eiffel : A Timeless Muse | Sept 27 – Dec 15, 2023


© Hana Pietri Gallery

Alliance Francaise
54 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL, 60610

September 27 - December 15, 2023


Join us for Maurice Sullins et la Tour Eiffel : A Timeless Muse, exhibition at the Alliance Française.

One of his favorite models was… la Tour Eiffel. Thanks to Hana Pietri Gallery, the Alliance Française, in partnership with Villa Albertine, is presenting 18 versions of the iconic muse of Chicago outsider painter Maurice Sullins.

As part of the 5th Chicago Architecture Biennial, this exhibition is an original way of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Gustave Eiffel and his world-famous tower. This masterpiece of architecture and engineering laid the foundations for the high-rise buildings so emblematic of Chicago’s landscape today. What better wink than the one offered by Maurice Sullins, a self-taught Chicago painter fascinated by this symbol that haunts his work, although he has never had the opportunity to contemplate it in real life.

The selection of works presented is of extraordinary creativity and fantasy. It takes the public into a world of incredible vitality, inhabited by a fantasized Paris, embodied by the “Iron Lady”, sometimes faithfully depicted, sometimes sketched in a few strokes.

More info on the Alliance Française’s website and registration for the talk and reception organized on October 30 HERE

About the artist:

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.

Exhibition open from September 27 to December 15 during the Alliance Française business hours.

In partnership with

Alliance française de Chicago

The Alliance Française de Chicago is over 120 years old and is part of an international network of over 1,100 Alliances and affiliated cultural centers worldwide. It is the second oldest Alliance Française in the US and second largest after the Alliance Française in New York City. Classes are offered for all ages and levels of French, leading to certifications in French for professional purposes or simply for experiencing another language and its various cultures. It also hosts an impressive array of events, bringing notable lecturers to Chicago: authors, filmmakers and directors, winemakers, chefs, designers, historians, actors and performing artists.

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Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

Intuit champions diverse artistic voices and pathways, inviting all to explore the power of outsider art. Founded in 1991, Intuit is a premier museum of outsider and self-taught art, defined as work created by artists who faced marginalization, overcame personal odds to make their artwork, or who did not, or sometimes could not, follow a traditional path of art making, often using materials at hand to realize their artistic vision. By presenting a diversity of artistic voices, Intuit builds a bridge from art to audience. The museum’s mission is grounded in the ethos that powerful art can be found in unexpected places and made by unexpected creators.

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Hana Pietri Gallery

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.

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Chicago Architecture Biennial

The Chicago Architecture Biennial (CAB) is dedicated to creating an international forum on architecture and urbanism. It produces year-round programs and a biennial exposition of city-wide activations for a diverse audience of designers, educators, advocates, and students. CAB’s mission is to engage and inspire professional and public audiences,  highlight the transformative power of architecture and envision a future for the field that is equitable and sustainable.


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