Donald Sultan

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

Donald Sultan came of age artistically in Chicago in the mid ’70s. He returns here with his first one-person museum exhibition, a traveling show of paintings and charcoal drawings from the last seven years, organized by Lynne Warren, associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Sultan, who is known for his repertory of generic, highly associative images, is a talented artist; but his work cannot support the inflated rhetoric of Warren’s catalogue essay, which inadvertently matches the artist’s frequently overblown graphic and structural flourishes.

Sultan’s elaborate methods of constructing his bold, brightly colored pictures imbue them with sculptural presence. He assembles stretcher bars in 4-by-4-foot modules, with 3-inch steel rods to which squares of Masonite laminated to plywood are bolted, these covered with grids of 12-inch-square vinyl tiles, and finally topped with coatings

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