Donald Sultan b. 1951


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Donald Sultan is an American artist known for his large-scale still life paintings made out of industrial materials as vinyl, linoleum, masonite, tar, rubber and paint. Sultan studied at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and later received a M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to New York in 1975 to pursue his artistic career.

Sultan's minimalistic work is composed of multiple layers of material, using few colors to compose a simplified motif. His work is abstract and color blocked, yet he is able to manipulate the industrial materials to create a painterly effect. Michael Brenson, art critic from the New York Times, complimented Sultan: "[He] continues to stretch the technical possibilities of his medium." The artist describes his technique as "working on the image, [and] making it look like the thing so much that it's abstracted." Influenced by his father's tire business, Sultan stated, "part of the whole American experience I came out of was the empire building mentality - physical labor. [Even] my grandfather was on the assembly lines of Detroit in the Depression." In addition to being a renowned painter, Sultan also creates prints and sculptures.


Donald Sultan's work is featured in the permanent collections of the MoMA in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston MFA, the Tate Modern in London, the San Francisco MoMA, the MCA in Tokyo, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.


Related Categories: Hard-Edged, Flora, Use of Common Materials, Still Life, United States, Painting, Work on Paper, Popular Culture, Contemporary Pop, Line, Form and Color.