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Donald Sultan (born 1951 in Asheville, North Carolina) is an American artist, known for large-scale still life paintings. Characteristically Sultan creates his work using industrial materials such as tar, enamel, spackle and vinyl tiles. This complex technique contrasts with Sultan’s use of simple iconography. Throughout his career, Sultan has pioneered images of lemons, poppies, eggs, playing cards and other objects which contribute to his abstract, yet representational body of work.
After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Masters from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sultan moved to New York City in 1975 to pursue his career. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., from the New York Academy of Art and the University of North Carolina. In 2010 Sultan was awarded the North Carolina Award, the highest award a state can bestow upon a civilian.
His first solo exhibition was mounted in 1977 at Artists Space in New York, New York, and Sultan has since risen to prominence, with his work featured in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
In addition to his paintings, Sultan has had success as a printmaker and sculptor. In 1999 he collaborated with David Mamet on his book, Bar Mitzvah of which Sultan did the drawings for. He has subsequently done a book of prints with the Israel based print publishers Har-el, and done prints in collaboration with the Benefit Print Project supporting such institutions as the Parrish Art Museum in Southhampton, New York, the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts. Sultan has worked with a number of well-known printers throughout his career, including Ken Tyler, Morris Payne, Gerald Parker, Mixographia, Poligrafa, Brand X, Crown Point Press, Alexander Heinrici, and Joe Wantanabe.
- Dunlop, Ian and Lynne Warren. (1987). Donald Sultan.
- Sultan, Donald, David Mamet, Steven Henry Madoff. (2000) Donald Sultan: In the Still-Life Tradition. Exhibit Catalog. Memphis, Tennessee: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. ISBN 0-915525-06-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]
- Mamet, David (1999) Bar Mitzvah. New York: Diane Publishing Co. ISBN 0-7567-6490-4 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK] http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1112785692&searchurl=kn%3Ddonald%2Bsultan%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D0%26y%3D0
- Sultan, Donald. "Theater of the Object," New York: Vendome Press, 2008. http://www.abebooks.com/9780865651920/Donald-Sultan-Theater-Object-Ratcliff-0865651922/plp