Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content


Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings

January 26, 2018 through May 13, 2018
  • Donald Sultan, Early Morning May 20 1986.
  • Donald Sultan, Double Church Nov 8 1990.
  • Donald Sultan, South End Feb 24 1986.
  • Donald Sultan, Veracruz Nov 18 1986.

Donald Sultan, a painter, sculptor, and printmaker regarded for his ongoing large-scale still lifes featuring structural renderings of fruit, flowers, and other everyday objects, is also noted for a significant series of industrial landscapes he began in the early 1980s and continued for nearly a decade. Titled Disaster Paintings, the works often illustrate robust man-made structures, such as industrial plants and train cars, which exhibit a level of fragility in their susceptibility to be unhinged by catastrophic events.

Distinguished for combining such subject matter with industrial materials, including tar and Masonite tiles, the Disaster Paintings exemplify in both media and concept the vulnerability of the most progressive manufactured elements of modern culture. This exhibition is the first to offer an in-depth examination of the series, featuring ten signature paintings made between 1984 and 1990.


Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Sheldon is the final venue for the exhibition’s national tour.