About the Artist
Donald Sultan’s large-scale still life paintings are filled with rich iconography—provocative objects, like bulbous fruits, set against a tar-black background. Although primarily classified as a still lifes, Sultan maintains that his works (despite their representational objects—flowers, lemons, eggs, buttons) are first and foremost abstract. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Sultan moved to New York City in 1975 upon completion of his advanced studies. He is recognized as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor, and best known for his large compositions made following a unique technique: in place of canvas, Sultan covers masonite with 12-inch vinyl floor tiles, from which he cuts geometric and organic forms. Sultan fills the negative spaces with tar or plaster, followed by a layer of paint; his resulting images are distinctively textured and equally balance the contrast of positive and negative space.