Sabbath by Adam Cullen 1965-2012 - 2000 | Michael Reid Gallery

Adam Cullen 1965-2012
Sabbath, 2000

etching, printed in black ink from one plate
signed “Adam Cullen” & dated 2000 lower right. Titled “Sabbath” centre and editioned lower left in pencil
56 x 70 cm
edition 4/20

Adam Cullen (1965-2012)
The Hand That Wandered

Adam Cullen was one of the most talented artists that I have ever worked with. His skills were raw and his intelligence was high. Adam had that spark. That spluttering magnesium flare of creative intensity. He had that gift of looking at our world through his eyes and his eyes alone.

Like us all, Adam’s abilities need on reflection balancing with his disappointments. Adam’s failings were ultimately his drug and alcohol addictions and a naïve need to live the press release of his art life – to live fast and be famous. Given Adam’s life choices his dying was expected; though totally unanticipated by Adam, when dying came to be.

I think of Adam often. He was infuriating. He often whipped up pen drawings of me, yelling at him.

From 2011 until his death, the various decompositions that infected Adam’s body almost sapped him of his ability to undertake big paintings or for that matter, even a concise developed body of work. What however, illness could not steal from Adam was that need to be creative and the extraordinary beauty of his great hand. Adam drew till he died. Adam’s drawings can be gem like and are almost always chaotically superb.

Adam had a hand that wandered.

-Michael Reid

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