Episode 333: Charles Johnstone and Bill Sullivan are long-time collaborators who, amongst other ventures, have come together to work on their mutual love of tennis through an overwhelming and beautiful Two-Volume set of books with a historical analysis and artworks created by both artists published by SUN.
I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about the sport of tennis or its variations. What I also know is that, as with other sports projects considered by both artists, that the ability for me to be fascinated by how they harness their eye for detail and commanding use of photography, painting, and historical context to create projects that elevate their subject matter to a universal point of interest is consistent, brilliant, and eye-opening. I spoke with the duo about the work and Tennis in general.
The books are filled with over 500 pages of text, images, and so on. Similar to Sullivan’s Pure Country, another book of genius, the emphasis is particular to the phenomenon of the subject matter over the direct study of it in general terms, creating a suggestive alternative to what we think we know about the focus subject. It becomes expansive and underpinned by Johnstone’s colorful and saturated photographs of the courts. They are some of the artist’s best work, and echoes of modernism and typology permeate. One is reminded of Ed Ruscha meeting Germain Krull on the court to battle out the two respective genres of image-making. Please listen to this episode!
Original Press Release and Specifications (Slightly Edited)
2 Volumes: soft cover in a custom box
book size: 9″ x 12″ (23 x 31 cm)
box size: 10.25″ x 13.25 X 2.25″
250 pages for each volume
mohawk vellum paper
Edition of 200