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"Donald Sultan: In Still-Life Tradition"
2001-06-29 until 2001-09-09
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Scottsdale, AZ, USA

An exhibition of works by artist Donald Sultan that focuses on what is considered his most iconic work: the still life. Twenty paintings, each measuring 8 square feet, survey Sultanís still life-themed masterpieces from 1985 to the present. The black tar images of encrusted lemons, dominos, blossoms and buttons signify a decade of painting when Sultan stretched the concept of the medium far beyond the use of conventional materials.

Rather than use a canvas, Sultan starts with vinyl tiles applied to a heavy wooden-framed backing, then cuts and scrapes the forms into the vinyl, filling in the cutout spaces with plaster or thick tar, sanding it down and applying paint. In this way, he creates something monumental out of the traditionally intimate still life.

Sultanís approach to his subject matter reaches back to some of the first ideas about still life depiction in painting and provides a nearly perfect statement about the possibilities of art from the 1980s onward. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes text by David Mamet, Carter Ratcliff and Steven Madoff, as well as color plates of all of the paintings included in the show.

IMAGE:
Donald Sultan
Oranges,1987
Tar, oil and plaster on linoleum over masonite
96 x 96 inches
Collection of Joseph Helman, NY


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