Tom Burtonwood

Twenty Something Sullivan


3D printed book
approximately 11 in. tall; 26 in. diameter
Edition 20

“Louis H. Sullivan is often celebrated as a father of modern architecture. But if given the choice, it’s not what he would have wanted to be remembered for.

His advocacy was for directing the human powers of thought, reason and creativity towards bringing buildings and their component parts to vital life. As in nature, all parts would relate to the whole. And each would reflect the interpretive powers of the individual, including emotion-stirring beauty uniquely of the work of the individual creator.

By this process, a vital, perpetual modern architecture would be a natural result – not a hollow artificial goal.

Often forgotten are Louis H. Sullivan’s earliest works where these powers are most visually evident. His earliest buildings created while he was in his twenties push upwards from the ground and blossom against the sky. The ornamental details pulse with living organic energy juxtaposed with the modular geometry that is the essence of architecture.

Most of the buildings Sullivan created while in his twenties are lost, but many salvaged pieces of the ornamentation survive. Things that are alive need three dimensions to thrive.”

– Tim Samuelson, Chicago, 2016

Twenty Something Sullivan is a collaboration with City of Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson and features nine 3D scans of hitherto lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornament produced early in his career – hence the title of the book. It is a circular book – which is a little unusual – but necessary in order to show off the scans in high relief as Sullivan intended them to be seen. Each page is connected to two 3d printed print in place bearings that rotate around a central spine. The bearings are printed in woodfill to emphasize the intersection between the old + the new.

Signed. The printed/signed edition offered by Fuse Works is special order and requires a minimum of six weeks lead time. Files shared on thingiverse:

Twenty Something Sullivan

Tom Burtonwood was born in Manchester, (UK) in 1974. He received a BA Hons. in Fine Art from Loughborough University (UK) in 1997 and an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2001. Recent exhibitions include The Chicago Cultural Center; Sidecar Gallery, Hammond, IN; the residence of the British Consulate, Chicago; Abryant Gallery, Chicago; Hinge Gallery, Chicago; NEXT Art Fair, Chicago, IL; MDW Fair, Chicago, IL; Gillock Gallery, Paris, France; NOISEfestival, Manchester, UK; The Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College, Chicago; Fountain Studios, Brooklyn; Three Walls, Chicago. Burtonwood teaches at Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is co-founder of WHAT IT IS, exhibition and project space in Oak Park, IL where he resides.