Reilly Gallery, Smith Center for the Arts

Public Reception: Thursday
6 PM–8 PM

Deb Sokolow: The Presidents (some of them)

In a project mounted on the heels of an unprecedentedly strange presidential election, Deb Sokolow: The Presidents (some of them) is a series of drawings focusing on humorous and bizarre anecdotes about former United States presidents and associates. Speculating on their larger, perhaps more sinister implications, these anecdotes are at the center of second-person narratives that blend fact with fiction and leave the reading viewer to wonder how much of the story is true and to determine when, if ever, the narrator can be trusted.

A staple of her work, Sokolow’s inquisitive unnamed narrator asks many questions in order to comically speculate on the histories, legends and conspiracies at the center of institutional and political narratives. His or her voice, though at times clear and at others delusional, parallels the pendulous nature of the collective American psyche. And ultimately, at a time when the United States is on the precipice of change (and as the College community ponders its own century-long legacy), this narrator forces us to consider what is perhaps the most important question of all: Are we even asking the right question(s)?

This exhibition is presented in conjunction Providence College's Centennial.

It is generously supported by the Art & Art History Department at Providence College.

Conjunctive Programming:

Artist Talk and Conversation with Dr. Joseph Cammarano,
PC Political Science Professor, in Reilly Gallery:
Thursday, February 23, 5pm

Public Reception: Thursday, February 23, 6–8pm

Deb Sokolow (b. 1974) is a Chicago-based artist and writer. Her work has been included in the 4th Athens Biennale in Greece and in other group exhibitions at the Drawing Center in New York, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen in Germany, Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. She has mounted solo exhibitions at the Abrons Art Center in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art and Western Exhibitions in Chicago, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, in which her 2013 MATRIX exhibition Some Concerns About the Candidate was reviewed in the New York Times. Sokolow’s work has been reproduced for Creative Time’s Comics project, for Swedish art magazine Paletten, and in Vitamin D2, a survey on contemporary drawing. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and the Thomas J Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Sokolow is a recipient of an Artadia award and residencies at Art Omi and Nordic Artists’ Centre in Norway. She received a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Image: Work process for "The Presidents (some of them)" taken in Deb Sokolow’s studio in November 2016