Spread over two floors of the London gallery, the exhibition will include 17 works produced from 1977 through to 2019. It is the first exhibition of the artist’s work in London in 10 years and provides an opportunity to re-evaluate these important and influential paintings at a prescient time.
Sultan is known for his large-scale paintings produced using a range of industrial and non-art materials, including tar, latex and rubber, and for his graphic and restrained investigations of form. The exhibition looks to reassert Sultan’s status as a vital figure in the reinvention of painting that occurred in New York in the 1980s, and also in the reestablishment of figuration in contemporary painting.
The exhibition will include early, smaller-scale experiments in tar, tile and Masonite from the 1970s, three monumental works from Sultan’s celebrated series ‘Disaster Paintings’ as well as works in charcoal from his series ‘Black Lemons’.
Sultan worked on his series of ‘Disaster Paintings’ for almost a decade in the 1980s. Each work of which was inspired by disastrous industrial or urban events, such as warehouse fires or freight train derailments, with the imagery based on photographs he found in daily newspapers. His series ‘Black Lemons’ was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1988, and preceded an in-depth investigation into the reduction of form. New works presented in the downstairs gallery are taken from subsequent series that reinvent the genre of still life, deconstructing fruits and flowers into their basic forms.
Since his first solo exhibition in 1977, Sultan has exhibited his work internationally and they are now held in the permanent collections of over 50 major international museums including Museum of Modern Art, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Tate Modern, London. Born in 1951 in Ashville, North Carolina and trained the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Donald Sultan now lives and works in New York City.