Donald Sultan: Theater of the Object

Carter Ratcliff, John Ravenal
An immaculately produced volume, Donald Sultan is a detailed examination of the artist’s distinguished thirty-year career and captures the essence of an innovative spirit whose work continues to evolve and inspire. In the electrified atmosphere of New York’s downtown art renaissance of the 1980s, when graffiti and post-modern figuration were filling gallery walls and art magazines, Donald Sultan (b. 1951) developed a strikingly different style using simple iconography and a complex technique. His gouged and spackled paintings of lemons, tulips, and vases were abstract, familiar, erotic, and captured enthusiastic critical attention immediately. Influenced by artists from Sasetta to Warhol, Sultan chose still life as the vehicle for advancing his mission to haul painting into the 21st century.” Today, Sultan’s work can be found in more than forty-five American museums, including MoMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Art.

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