Sultan, an internationally recognized artist who rose to prominence in the late 1970s as part of the “New Image” movement, is known for elevating the still-life tradition through the deconstruction of his subjects into basic forms and the use of industrial materials. His paintings characteristically employ enamel, roofing tar, aluminum, linoleum, and spackle, pushing the boundaries of the medium through techniques of gouging, sanding, and buffing to create flatness, depth, and texture.
The works are made of the same materials as the building in which the viewer stands; the architecture participates in the paintings. Weighty and structured, Sultan’s paintings are simultaneously abstract and representational: while his imagery is immediately recognizable – flowers, daily objects, insignia, idle factories – the dominating, abstract forms contradict its common association with fragility.
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