Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings
In the 1980s, Donald Sultan (born 1951) began his industrial landscape series the Disaster Paintings. He worked with the subject for nearly a decade, using images of actual events drawn from the daily newspaper. Sultan’s Disaster Paintings illustrate robust, man-made structures—such as industrial plants and train cars—as fragile constructs that can be undone by catastrophic events. Distinguished for combining this subject matter with industrial materials, such as tar and Masonite tiles, the Disaster Paintings exemplify in both media and concept the vulnerability of the most progressive, manufactured elements of modern culture.