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  • Selected Work, 2011–2015
  • Altoon Sultan (bio)

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Altoon Sultan
2014 #19, 2014
Hand-dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 18 x 17 in.

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Altoon Sultan
RED/YELLOW GROUND, 2013
Hand-dyed wool on linen, 11 x 10 in.

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Altoon Sultan
#21, 2013
Egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

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Altoon Sultan
#46, 2015
Egg tempera and graphite on hand-toned paper, 15 x 15 in.

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Altoon Sultan
2011 #2, 2011
Hand-dyed wool and egg tempera on linen, 12 x 14 in.

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Altoon Sultan
TWO OVALS AND A RECTANGLE, 2014
Hand-dyed wool on linen, 18 1/4 x 12 in.

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Altoon Sultan
PORTAL 1, 2012
Hand-dyed wool on linen, 9 x 12 in.

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Altoon Sultan
CIRCLES, LIGHT AND DARK, 2014
Egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 9 x 7 1/4 in.

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Altoon Sultan
ANGLES AND BAR, 2015
Egg tempera on calfskin parchment, 9 x 6 1/2 in.

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Recent Work

The different strands of my work—textiles, drawings, paintings—are woven together by my sensibility, by my use of traditional materials, and by their homage to the history of art. Clarity, order, and geometry guide the structure of the work; this sensibility is what leads me to admire quattrocento Italian painting more than that of the High Renaissance or the Baroque. That admiration in turn encouraged me to learn to paint with egg tempera, an ancient medium of crisp luminosity. My textile work came from an initial desire to make rugs for my old farmhouse, using the traditional technique of rug hooking. I realized that it was a perfect vehicle to explore my love of twentieth-century minimalist abstraction. The series was jump-started by seeing a show of Tantric drawings, which are seemingly so like Western abstraction, yet are based on centuries-old designs used for meditation. Another sacred pattern—six circles around one, used in Islamic design— is the template for my drawings on paper. This pattern has many shapes within it, and I have not yet come to their end. A medieval religious manuscript, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, inspired me to use parchment for my paintings, a deliciously sensuous surface, and to paint intimate book-sized paintings. The images themselves are contemporary and of this world: details of the machinery of agriculture, whose shapes and forms provide me with me with inventive compositions. In all my work, the traditional and the modern are inextricably bound.

http://www.altoonsultan.com [End Page 119]

Altoon Sultan

Altoon Sultan was born in Brooklyn, not far from Coney Island. She was educated in the borough, earning her BA and MFA degrees from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Philip Pearlstein and Lois Dodd. Summer painting programs at Tanglewood and Skowhegan encouraged her to take her artwork seriously. Her first painting exhibitions, in 1971 and 1973, were at a co-op gallery in Soho, but soon she was represented by the prestigious Marlborough Gallery, where she had her first show in 1977. She went on to have many solo shows in New York City, at Marlborough and at Tibor de Nagy and throughout the United States over more than thirty years. Altoon’s work has been included in numerous group shows including many at museums such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Hood Museum of Art, the Fleming Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work is currently represented in New York City by McKenzie Fine Art, and in Wellesley, Massachusetts, by David Hall Fine Art.

Altoon’s awards include...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 5-119
Launched on MUSE
2015-05-27
Open Access
No
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