Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016
Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016
Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016
Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016
Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016
Donald Sultan, ‘Playing Cards: Set of Five’, 1989, Heather James Fine Art: Benefit Auction 2016

In his 1989 piece Playing Cards (etchings and aquatint) American artist Donald Sultan reprises the four iconic suits, tilting their orientation just barely into the uncanny. His fascination with games is such that he toys with the viewer—in other works, he strips dominoes down to their essential elements: line and form. Sultan’s iconographic abstractions are featured in the public collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery, Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Art.

Image Approx. (Each): 21.5 x 15 in.
Framed (Each): 24 x 17.13 in.

4 of Diamonds: Signed along left, "four diamonds May 20 1990," and editioned lower right, "1/44."

Each piece signed, titled and dated left side, and numbered lower right, "1/44".

About Donald Sultan

Donald Sultan’s large-scale still life paintings are filled with rich iconography—provocative objects, like bulbous fruits, set against a tar-black background. Although primarily classified as a still lifes, Sultan maintains that his works (despite their representational objects—flowers, lemons, eggs, buttons) are first and foremost abstract. Born in Asheville, North Carolina, Sultan moved to New York City in 1975 upon completion of his advanced studies. He is recognized as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor, and best known for his large compositions made following a unique technique: in place of canvas, Sultan covers masonite with 12-inch vinyl floor tiles, from which he cuts geometric and organic forms. Sultan fills the negative spaces with tar or plaster, followed by a layer of paint; his resulting images are distinctively textured and equally balance the contrast of positive and negative space.

American, b. 1951, Asheville, North Carolina, based in New York, New York