Tamar Zinn reviews an exhibition of works by Altoon Sultan at McKenzie Fine Art, New York, on view through November 16, 2014.
Zinn writes that the show presents "an array of work by this versatile artist – intimate paintings executed in egg tempera, drawings on hand-toned paper, and hooked wool wall textiles. Although linked by her attention to balancing form and color, each medium offers Sultan a different expressive vocabulary... Sultan’s very intimate paintings (several as small as 6 x 8") are derived from her photographs of farm machinery, and focus on the geometry of the forms. By zooming in and closely cropping her images, she essentially rules out a consideration of subject matter. Rather, Sultan concentrates on capturing light and shadows, and juxtaposing small elements of these machine-made implements against one another, all in service to the composition. Yes, there is light and shadow -- pointing to depth and illusion, yet these are not depictions of objects. The irregular silhouettes of the shadows add a bit of surprise and spatial ambiguity to the compositions. Elements of the man-made world have been distilled and transformed into elegant, carefully balanced abstractions."