Altoon Sultan, ‘Curve and Grid’, 2016, McKenzie Fine Art

Sultan’s precisely rendered small-scale paintings are near-abstractions based on her own photographs of agricultural machinery. She investigates the emotive power of form rather than narrative, and celebrates careful and close observation in her work. Her paintings are never completely non-objective because, for Sultan, “the interaction with the reality of things is so compelling; because my imagination doesn’t come close to the surprising and inventive juxtapositions of color and shape and light that I find ‘out there.’” Inspired by an exhibition of the 15th-century manuscript The Hours of Catherine of Cleves at the Morgan Library, Sultan began to paint on parchment with egg tempera in 2010. The paintings are remarkable for their strong light and clarity, and are rendered with restraint and delicacy. Despite their intimate scale, the forms in the paintings possess a dramatic and monumental presence.

About Altoon Sultan

American, b. 1948, Brooklyn, NY, United States, based in Vermont, United States