Donald Sultan (American, b.1951) is a painter best known for his massive still lifes and landscapes, and noted for his use of abstracted black forms against areas of bright color. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Sultan grew up in the mountains, and became familiar with Appalachian folk art traditions. After receiving his BFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Sultan moved to Chicago to earn his MA from the Art Institute of Chicago.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Sultan began to paint using industrial materials, including vinyl, linoleum, and masonite, juxtaposing his traditional subject matter with unusual materials. These works often involve creating layers of tar and rubber on top of slabs of linoleum or masonite, which are then stripped away in pieces to reveal the multiple surfaces beneath, which are then painted over. The finished works combine a Minimalist aesthetic of few colors and geometric shapes with a highly unique treatment and destruction of surface. In addition to his paintings, Sultan has collaborated with friend and writer David Mamet (American, b.1947) on the illustrated novel Bar Mitzvah (1999).

Timeline

1951
Born: in Asheville, NC
1973
BFA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
1975
MFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1978
Creative Artists Public Service Grant, New York, NY
1980–1981
State National Endowment for the Arts
2000
Doctor of Arts, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C.
2002
Awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the New York Academy of Art, NY
2007
Awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina, Asheville
Lives and works in New York, NY and Sag Harbor, NY

Exhibitions

2013
Donald Sultan, 'Echoes', Solo exhibition, Galerie Pièce Unique, Paris, France
2012
Donald Sultan - The Drawing Room gallery, East Hampton, NY
The Flower Series - Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA
2011
Soot And Shine: New Works - Mary Ryan Gallery, New York City, NY
Donald Sultan - New Works - Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
2009
Inspired in Asia, Two New Editions, Mixografia ®, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Wallflowers, Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Recent Works on Paper, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, UK (solo)
Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Summer Group Exhibition Featuring Works by Gallery Artists, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, US
Galerie Andres Thalmann, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2008
Butterflies, Flowers and Smoke Rings, Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
New Aquisitions: Contemporary, Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado (solo)
Aidan Gallery, Moscow, Russia (solo)
Forsblom Projects, Helsinki, Finland (solo)
2007
Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, New York, USA (solo)
De Brock Gallery, Knokke-Heist, Belgium (solo)
Meredith Long Gallery, Houston, Texas (solo)
2006
NEIL JENNEY / DONALD SULTAN the art bar, WAQAS WAJAHAT, New York, NY
Centre Cultural Contemporani Pelaires, Mallorca, Spain (solo)
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland (solo)
2005
DONALD SULTAN: 1991-2005, Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (solo)
Donald Sultan / Isca Greenfield-Sanders / Sebastian Blanck, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Cliff Lede Vineyards, Yountville, California (solo)
2004
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Donald Sultan: Three New Editions, Mixografia ®, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Meredith Long Gallery, Houston, USA (solo)
Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (solo)
Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art, New York (solo)
2003
Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland
Knoedler & Company, New York, New York (solo)
Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, New York (solo)
2002
Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, California, USA (solo)
Louise Cameron Wells Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA (solo)
Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, Washington, USA (solo)
2001
Donald Sultan '10 Paintings' & David LaChapelle, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL, USA (solo)
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, USA (solo)
Raab Galerie, Berlin, Germany
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (solo)
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, USA (solo)
Galerie Lutz and Thalmann, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (solo)
2000
Traveling exhibition: Donald Sultan: In the Still-Life Tradition, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis,TN, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, Florida, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, USA (solo)
Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TE, USA (solo)
Winston Wachter Fine Art, Seattle, Washington, USA (solo)
Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (solo)
Meredith Long Gallery, Houston, Texas, USA (solo)
Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, New York, USA
1999
The Jewish Museum - New York, New York, USA (solo)
Meredith Long & Co., Houston, USA (solo)
Knoedler - New York, New York, USA (solo)
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, USA (solo)
1998
Donald Sultan and the Still Life Tradition, Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC (solo)
Galerie Lutz and Thalmann. Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Baldwin Gallery - Aspen, Colorado, USA (solo)
urner & Runyon Gallery, Dallas Texas. USA (solo)
Galleria Lawrence Rubin, Milano, Italy (solo)
1997
Donald Sultan: New Paintings, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, St. Louis, MI, USA (solo)
Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Missouri, USA (solo)
1996
Donald Sultan: Neue Arbeiten, Galerie Lawrence Rubin, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Thinking Print - Books to Billboards 1980-95, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Colorado, USA (solo)
Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Texas, USA (solo)
Fotouhi Cramer Gallery, East Hampton, NY, USA (solo)
Mary Ryan Gallery, New York, New York, USA (solo)
Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, New York, USA (solo)
Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York: Exhibition in conjunction with the Hampton’s International Film Festival
1995
Recent Acquisitions on Paper, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC
Donald Sultan: New Paintings, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
1994
Metamorphosis: Surrealism to Organic Abstraction, Marlborough Graphics, New York, NY
Donald Sultan: Wall Flowers, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1993
Wege der Moderne: Di Sammlung Beyeler, National Galerie Berlin, Germany
Donald Sultan, Galerie Kaj Forsblom, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Donald Sultan: Morning Glories, Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI (solo)
Donald Sultan: Recent Paintings, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
1992
Donald Sultan: Drawing, The Hill Gallery, Birmingham, MI (solo)
Donald Sultan: Paintings, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Pintures, Galerie Trauma, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
Donald Sultan, Hans Strelow Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
Donald Sultan: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper, Meredith Long & Company, Houston, TX (solo)
Donald Sultan: Paintings 1978-1992, Guild Hall Museum East Hampton, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Drawings + Watercolors 1987-1992, Knoedler & Company New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: A Print Retrospective, The American Federation of the Art, New York, NY (solo)
1991
Donald Sultan: Paintings, Drawings and Prints, John Berggruen Gallery San Francisco, CA (solo)
Donald Sultan: Sculpture, Knoedler & Company New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan, Recent Print Projects: Dominoes, Fruits and Flowers, Playing Cards, Mary Ryan Gallery New York, NY (solo)
1990
Donald Sultan: Paintings, Knoedler & Company New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Screenprints and Etchings, Greg Kucera Gallery Seattle, WA (solo)
Donald Sultan, Equinox Gallery Vancouver, Canada (solo)
Donald Sultan, Waddington Galleries London, England (solo)
Summer Exhibit, Knoedler & Company New York, NY
1989
Waldo Crommelynck Master Prints with American Artists, Whitney Museum of American Art - Equitable Center New York, NY
Donald Sultan: Sculpture, Blum Helman Gallery Santa Monica, CA (solo)
Donald Sultan: Playing Cards Drawings, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Inc. New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Works on Paper, Runkle-Hue Williams, Ltd. London, England (solo)
Donald Sultan: New Sculpture, The Greenberg Gallery St. Louis, MO (solo)
Donald Sultan: Drawings, Knoedler & Company New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: A Selection of Prints, Richard Green Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Drawing - Painting, Meredith Long Gallery Houston, TX (solo)
Donald Sultan: Dominoes, Playing Cards, Fruits and Flowers, Greg Kucera Gallery Seattle, WA (solo)
Donald Sultan, Richard Green Gallery Santa Monica, CA (solo)
1988
Donald Sultan: Black Lemons, Museum of Modern Art New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan, Galerie Montenay Paris, France (solo)
Donald Sultan, La Galerie Alice Pauli Lausanne, Switzerland (solo)
Donald Sultan: Prints and Drawings, Marina Hamilton Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Viewpoints: Paintings and Sculpture from the Guggenheim Museum Collection and Major Loans, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, NY
1987
Donald Sultan: Linoleum Paintings 12 x 12, Akira Ikeda Gallery Nagoya, Japan (solo)
Donald Sultan: Cigarette Paintings 1980-1981, Photographs 1985-1986, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Recent Paintings, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Small Paintings, Small Drawings 1978-1987, Barbara Krakow Gallery Boston, MA (solo)
Donald Sultan, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (solo)
Donald Sultan, Gian Enzo Sperone Gallery Seattle, WA (solo)
Donald Sultan: Black Lemons - Recent Paintings, Greg Kucera Gallery Seattle, WA (solo)
1986
Donald Sultan: Drawings, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: A Survey, A.P. Giannini Gallery Bank of America, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Donald Sultan, Galerie Montenay-Desol Paris, France (solo)
Donald Sultan: gravures monumentales, Galerie de L'estampe Contemporaine Bibliotheque Nationale, Rostonde Colbert, Paris, France (solo)
Donald Sultan: Drawings and Paintings, The Greenberg Gallery St. Louis, MO (solo)
Donald Sultan: Drawings, Blum Helman Gallery Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1985
Donald Sultan: New Paintings, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan: Prints 1979-1985, Barbara Krakow Gallery (traveled) Boston, MA (solo)
Donald Sultan, Small Paintings, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan, Gian Enzo Sperone Rome, Italy (solo)
1984
Donald Sultan: New Paintings, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
1983
Donald Sultan: Bilder und Zeichnungen, Hans Strelow Gallery Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
Donald Sultan, Akira Ikeda Gallery Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1982
Donald Sultan, Blum Helman Gallery New York, NY (solo)
1981
Donald Sultan: Recent Paintings, Daniel Weinberg Gallery San Francisco, CA (solo)
1980
Donald Sultan, Willard Gallery New York, NY (solo)
1979
Donald Sultan, Willard Gallery New York, NY (solo)
Donald Sultan, Young Hoffman Gallery Chicago, IL (solo)
1977
Artists Space, Artists Space New York, NY
Turning the Room Sideways, The Institute of Art and Urban Resources P.S. 1 Special Projects Room, Long Island City, NY
1976
N.A.M.E. Gallery, N.A.M.E. Gallery Chicago, IL

Public Collections

Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
The Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

Literature

2006
Neil Jenney, Donald Sultan: The Art Bar. New York: Waqas Wajahat, 2006