Curated by Raphaela Platow
During the late 70s and early 80s, American artist Donald Sultan laid the groundwork for his paintings that successfully merged conceptual and figurative approaches with industrial materials. This first exhibition of Sultan’s early linoleum paintings demonstrates the artist’s formative years, when he set himself apart from his contemporaries by creating works that reconciled figuration with Modernist painting using unconventional materials. To create these unique paintings, Sultan glued linoleum on masonite hardboard and covered the linoleum with tar and rubber. He created imagery by cutting through to reveal the linoleum layer, using the surface material to define negative space in the paintings, or by simply painting on top of the linoleum. His process preserved painterly qualities and surface texture, resulting in sophisticated, minimalist works made from familiar and accessible materials. Donald Sultan: The First Decade explores the ideas, materials and scale of this intriguing body of work during this important time in the artist’s early career. A publication accompanies this exhibition.