Dreaming of Abstract Flowers: Donald Sultan at Greenfield Sacks



By Emily Waldorf

I just visited the must-see Donald Sultan show at Greenfield Sacks Gallery.  I have been a fan of his work for a while and this show pulls together his best works on paper in recent years.  My favorite piece was Blacks and Blues, Jan 16 2009 (above), the only work in the show not on paper.  Made of enamel, tile, and spackle on tile over masonite, the work is 24 x 24 inches and hovers sculpturally against the wall.  The rest of the work includes the smaller wallflowers series, big-impact single blossom works in bright colors in the front gallery, and larger, bold images of striking mimosas.  


Sultan’s work is best described as abstractions of every day objects, particularly subject matter that traditionally appears in the still life genre. He is most famous for his iconic lemons and fruit (there is one very nice lemon piece hung with the show) Sultan says his work is “heavy structure, holding fragile meaning” that can “turn you off and turn you on at the same time.”


There are also three small-scale bronze sculptures of lambs by Karen Wilberding Diefenbach, who trained with Manuel Neri, that contrast nicely with the Sultan works and are fabulous pieces in their own right.  

Donald Sultan:  Recent Works on Paper runs through May 2, 2009 at Greenfield Sacks.


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