Newport Contemporary Fine Arts

219 Goddard Row, Brick Marketplace
Newport, RI 02840

Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan






Signed by the Artist
26” x 21 1/2”    


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Born in 1951 - Although his paintings fit into the criteria of a still life, Sultan describes these works as first and foremost abstract. The largeness of Sultan’s compositions, huge pieces of fruit, flowers, dominoes and other objects, set against the stark, unsettling tar-black, eight-foot square background, dominate the viewer. Donald Sultan is best known for his lemons and fruit, and states that his subjects develop from previous work. The oval of his lemons has led to a series of oval-blossomed tulips. Dots from dice have become oranges. What does not change with Sultan’s work is the powerful statement his forms make.

Sultan’s work incorporates basic geometric and organic forms with a formal purity that is both subtle and monumental. Donald Sultan’s images are weighty, with equal emphasis on both negative and positive areas. Sultan describes his work as “heavy structure, holding fragile meaning” with the ability to “turn you off and turn you on at the same time.” Sultan’s still lifes have been described as studies in contrast. His powerfully sensual, fleshy object representations are rendered through a labor- intensive and unique method.
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