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DONALD SULTAN: The FIRST Decade OPENS AT THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DONALD SULTAN: THE FIRST DECADE
OPENS AT THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER
February 7—May 17, 2009
CINCINNATI—The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) in the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to present Donald Sultan: The First Decade. This is the first exhibition in the United States of Sultan’s early linoleum paintings, outlining the period in which Sultan laid the groundwork for merging conceptual and figurative approaches with industrial materials. Donald Sultan: The First Decade, on view February 7 through May 17, 2009, is curated by Raphaela Platow, the Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator.
Donald Sultan: The First Decade is the first exhibition to fully explore the era so influential to Sultan’s artistry, and the ideas, materials, and scale of this intriguing body of work. Platow states, “This exhibition demonstrates the artist’s formative years, when he started using industrially fabricated materials as an integral compositional element in his figurative paintings—something that has remained important to his work ever since.”
In these early linoleum paintings, Sultan strove to use accessible materials that spoke directly to his audience’s everyday experience, democratizing his art by taking from a pedestrian context. For the artist, this meant using familiar elements—such as tar, rubber, chalk, plaster and spackle—borrowed from his training in theatrical set design and construction work on artist’s lofts when first arriving in New York.
Though the materials were consistent, Sultan experimented with different techniques. For works like Factory (Building/Water) July 10 1981(1981), he fitted puzzle-like linoleum pieces together to create the image and then glued them onto Masonite. For works such as Streetlight Feb 9 1982 (1982), he created the image by inlaying spackle, paint and tar directly on top of the tile. In seeing these works together, the artist’s talent for mixing media is readily apparent. Rather than competing with each other in a chaotic haphazard manner, the materials harmonize and together give rise to sleek works of simple, straightforward beauty. The soft negative space of the black tar, the shots of white plaster and the cool smooth color of the tile are all synthesized in the composition. As Platow explains, “evidenced in these paintings, Sultan’s process preserved painterly qualities and surface texture, resulting in sophisticated, minimalist works.”
Exhibition Sponsor: Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Foundation
Supporting Sponsor: Lynne Meyers Gordon, M.F.A.
The artist will be signing copies of the newly released Donald Sultan: Theater of the Object (Vendome Press) for CAC Insiders and CAC Director’s Circle Members at the Rosenthal Center on February 6. Copies are available for purchase at the CAC Store.
Tara Donovan and Donald Sultan: The First Decade
Friday, February 6 at 8 pm
Cash bar and DJ
Free and Open to the Public
Donald Sultan: The First Decade
Saturday, April 4 at 4 pm
Raphaela Platow will lead a gallery tour and discussion of the exhibition.
CAC Members: Free. NonMembers: CAC Admission.
Sunday, March 22, 1-4 pm
Artist Liz Rossi leads a hands-on art project inspired by the exhibition. This program is designed for children ages 5-105.
CAC Members: Free. NonMembers: CAC Admission.
Mary Provosty: Printmaking
In this ongoing series, teachers learn about the connections that can be made between contemporary art and traditional curriculum, empowering them to use the visual arts to meet state standards and benchmarks.
Mary Provosty, a local artist and educator, will help you explore two exhibitions through printmaking techniques. _Join other educators on a private tour of Tara Donovan and Donald Sultan: The First Decade, then enjoy tasty snacks while you listen to Provosty share her ideas of incorporating the themes from the exhibitions through printmaking. Receive two lesson plans, images and information on the exhibitions for classroom use, CAC lesson plans, and a small gift.
Reservations: Jaime Thompson, 513.345.8420, jthompson@ContemporaryArtsCenter.org
Contact: Molly O’Toole
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art
513 345 8415
About the Contemporary Arts Center
Founded in November 1939 as the Modern Art Society by three visionary women in Cincinnati, Contemporary Arts Center was one of the first institutions in the U.S. dedicated to exhibiting the art of our time. In May 2003, the Center relocated to its first freestanding home, the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, designed by Zaha Hadid. Throughout its distinguished history, the Center has earned a reputation for stimulating thought and introducing new ideas by presenting the work of diverse artists from around the world, including hundreds of now-famous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Nam June Paik, I.M. Pei, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol. CAC focuses on new developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, performance art and new media, presenting eight to 12 exhibitions and 20 to 40 performances annually.
The CAC receives ongoing support from: Fine Arts Fund; Ohio Arts Council; City of Cincinnati; The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, City of Cincinnati Arts Grant Recipient; The Kettering Fund; and the generous contributions and grants of individuals and corporations and foundations, CAC memberships, facility rentals, special events and sales from the CAC Store.
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