Born in Asheville, NC, Donald Sultan studied at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and later received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has since received honorary doctorate degrees from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington D.C., the New York Academy of Art and the University of North Carolina. In 2010, Sultan was awarded the North Carolina Award, the highest award a state can bestow upon a civilian. Sultan moved to New York City in 1975.
The Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth organized in 2016 “Disaster Paintings” which traveled to the Lowe Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Sheldon Museum of Art. Further, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art organized “Donald Sultan: In the Still-Life Tradition,” which traveled to Corcoran Gallery of Art, DC; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; Polk Museum of Art, FL; and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ, in 2000.
Sultan has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the British Museum, London (2017), Cleveland Museum of Art (2015), Gyeongnam Art Museum (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Art (2010), Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2009) and the Museum of Modern Art (1988). Sultan’s first solo exhibition was mounted in 1977 at Artists Space in New York.
Important publications include Donald Sultan by Ian Dunlop and Lynne Warren, which accompanied his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1987); Donald Sultan: A Print Retrospective by Barry Walker (1992); Donald Sultan: In the Still-Life Tradition by David Mamet and Steven Henry Madoff (2000); and Donald Sultan: Theater of the Object by Carter Ratcliff (2008), Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings by Gregory A. Dobie (2016).
Sultan’s work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Cincinnati Art Museum, OH; Cleveland Art Museum, OH; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, TX; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Neuberger Museum at SUNY-Purchase, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Singapore Museum of Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.