Donald Sultan


Donald Sultan (b. 1951, North Carolina) is best known for his massive still lifes and landscapes. Often contrasting black drawings against large swaths of bright color, the artist is known for playing with color palettes and flattened forms. His oeuvre is defined by the iconic groovy flowers found between his printmaking and painting practices. 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. The finished works combine a Minimalist aesthetic of few colors and geometric shapes with a highly unique treatment and destruction of surface. 


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. Sultan’s artistic practice has been celebrated with various awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Houston Fine Art Fair in 2011. Today, his work is included in internationally renowned public and private collections, among them the British Museum (London), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo) and Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco).


Related works

  • Contemporary artist Jim Dine’s recognizable style is characterized by recurring visual motifs and an expressive mark-making technique. View his work.
  • Richard Serra also used industrial materials to create his minimalist works evoking architectural forms. View his work.