Donald Sultan, Morning Glories

Donald Sultan, Morning Glories, 1991, Ink, chalk, graphite on paper, Gift of Clifton and Dolores Wharton, Polk Museum of Art 2007.1 © Donald Sultan

Hollis Gallery

January 12 - June 8, 2017

Sultan’s still-life compositions, which range from huge pieces of fruit, vegetables, and eggs to dominos and flowers, dominate the surface of his paintings, drawings, and prints. Their bold forms demand attention by virtue of their medium, color, and size. While his works deal with recognized forms, they simultaneously and successfully combine the representational with the abstract. In Morning Glories, a sense of organic beauty is maintained even as the image is limited to black circles with white centers against a black and white patterned background.

Sultan earned a BFA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973 and an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1975. While still in school, Sultan grew dissatisfied with traditional methods of painting and began experimenting in technique, surface, and media, which eventually led him to use industrial tools and materials. Sultan was one of the first to employ a wide range of industrial tools and materials, particularly tar, in lieu of traditional brushes and paints.