The CAC has just organized and opened a modestly sized show, The First Decade, which brings together key paintings of Sultan’s from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s.
Inspired by minimalism but still attracted to the narrative possibilities of figuration, Sultan in that period developed a style that accommodated and carried forward both. He used then-unusual building and industrial materials — Linoleum, Masonite hardboard, tar, Spackle and plaster — instead of depending on oil paint and canvas. He then manipulated the surfaces — like woodcuts — to conjure ghostly images of urban Americana.
Read more about the exhibit, including Rosen's interview with Sultan, here.