Last Stop for Disaster Paintings Tour

The Disaster Paintings, that Donald Sultan created during the 1980s and early 90s, began touring around the U.S. last year. The tour began at the Lowe Art Museum in Miami, went to the Smithsonian and other major museums and is making its final stop at Nebraska’s Sheldon Museum of Art from January 26 through May 13, 2018.

Each painting, like Early Morning May 20 1986 was made from a newspaper photograph of an industrial disaster. Sultan used industrial materials, linoleum, tar and masonite, to create the images.

“Linoleum,” Sultan said, in an interview at the Smithsonian, “is our modern interior landscape. Originally, linoleum was made to be fake marble.”

From Disasters to Poppies

Donald Sultan has continued to use industrial materials to create his works, but his subjects continue to evolve.

Sultan went from painting catastrophes to painting dominoes, buttons then poppies. “Paintings talk to you and,” Sultan said, “they tell you what you have to do next. It’s a compulsion.”

Sultan followed-the-dots. He used the linoleum squares to create grids, on which he arranged a series of dominoes, then  buttons, smoke rings, the flowers he saw on lanterns in his garden, and finally, poppies.

Although Sultan uses heavy, industrial materials to create his work, they have a quality of lightness about them. He used Cor-Ten steel to create Poppies sculptures that have the same lightness underneath their rugged exterior.

Linoleum is our modern interior landscape. Originally, linoleum was made to be fake marble.

Donald Sultan Prints

A masterful printmaker, Sultan has been making etchings, then aquatint, printed on roofing copper.

“What I like about prints, is that it has to keep its handmade, art quality. It has to be run through a press manually, so it continues the concept of industrial working”

Early in his career, Sultan was among a small group of influential American artists who frequently collaborated with Picasso’s master-printer Aldo Crommelynck. He now works with printers closer to his Manhattan studio, creating works like Blacks and Blues, a screenprint with diamond dust and Lantern Flowers, silkscreened with enamel inks and flocking, both for sale at VFA.

Donald Sultan for Sale at VFA

Please contact us for more information about Cor-Ten PoppiesBlacks and Blues, Lantern Flowers or any of the other Donald Sultan sculptures and prints available at VFA.

See More Donald Sultan Artwork for Sale