Altoon Sultan: Paintings đź‘€

4650 W Washington Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90016
Sep 11, 5 PM - 8 PM — ends Oct 16, 2021
Chris Sharp is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the Vermont-based artist Altoon Sultan.

A formalist in the classical sense, Altoon Sultan is an artist who is interested in composition, color, spatial relationships, and light. No matter what she has depicted, whether it be Victorian architecture or modern agricultural landscapes, what she creates is deeply engaged in long-standing discussions of form, line, representation and even abstraction. Having originally studied with Philip Pearlstein and Lois Dodd in the late 60s and early 70s, she comes from a tradition of realism whose interest in capturing perceived reality is second only to its stringent, vivid and precise interpretation of it. What is more, if she is working in the legacy of modernism, it has more to do with the likes of Ellsworth Kelly than any kind of Greenbergian purity, in that although she might insist on the primacy of form, what she portrays is thoroughly embedded in our shared, everyday reality.

For her exhibition at Chris Sharp Gallery, Sultan presents a series of recent egg tempera paintings on calfskin parchment. In keeping with her interest in industrial farming and the production of food, the imagery in the work consists of details of agricultural implements and machinery. Isolated and zeroed-in upon, the portrayed details uncannily withdraw into illusory approximations of pure form, like so many lines, angles and circles. It is as if this essential, but often unseen production (farming) was, through Sultan’s small, tightly focused windows, at once revealed and, paradoxically, restored to the relative abstraction in which it exists for most of us. At once straightforward and strange, her compact, exquisitely crafted pictures possess a bracingly luminous, jewel-like quality; they are the hard-won result of decades of the daily habit of painting which testify to an artist at the height of her powers.