Donald Sultan

Sultan, an internationally recognized artist who rose to prominence in the late 1970s as part of the “New Image” movement, is known for taking the still life tradition to a new level by breaking down his subjects into basic forms and using industrial materials. His paintings typically use enamel, roofing tar, aluminum, linoleum and putty, pushing the boundaries of the medium through techniques of gouging, sanding and polishing to create flatness, depth and texture. The works are made of the same materials as the building in which the viewer stands; the architecture participates in the paintings. Sultan’s paintings are weighty and structured and at the same time abstract and representational: while his images are immediately recognizable – flowers, everyday objects, insignia, disused factories – the predominant, abstract forms contradict the usual association with fragility.