Deb Sokolow’s art combines a penchant for drawing diagrams with an outsider’s cautiously curious view of the world around her. Overheard conversations, observed facts, suspicions and guesswork accumulate in a fractured story, told with flow charts, maps, and Xeroxed images rather than smooth narrative transitions. Like a conspiracy theory, Sokolow’s drawings assemble enough arguments and facts to impart a sense of a deep logical connection, but determining the presence of truth is left to the viewer-who is pulled into the work by Sokolow’s use of the second-person pronoun “you” to refer to her protagonist. To a skeptic, the character’s subjective train of thought appears to unravel and become paranoid, falling prey to delusional fantasies about Hollywood-caricature pirates and drug kingpins. There is a chilling sense of witnessing a mind losing its hold on reality.
-Brian Droitcour, curator’s essay for “Big Reality”, 2012
Deb Sokolow’s 2013 solo show, “Deb Sokolow/MATRIX 166: Some Concerns About the Candidate” at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT was reviewed in The New York Times. Other solo museum shows include The Kemper Museum in Kansas City; The Spertus Museum of Art, Chicago; a 12 x 12 show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; the Abrons Art Center in New York City; INOVA in Milwaukee; and The Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She’s been included in group shows at the Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona; Smart Museum in Chicago; Voorkamer in Belgium; and Invisible-Exports in New York City. Upcoming group shows include The Drawing Center in New York City and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Germany. Sokolow’s work is in the permanent collections of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Spertus Museum in Chicago and The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana. Her work has been written about in Artforum.com, Art in America.com, The New York Times, Artnet, Art Papers, Art on Paper, Artslant, Beautiful Decay, Dagens Nyheter, The Kansas City Star, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Magazine, New City, Timeout Chicago, and Jettison Quarterly and she will be included in Phaidon’s upcoming VITAMIN D2 hardcover survey of contemporary drawing practices. She is a 2010 resident of the Art Omi International Artists Residency and a 2012 recipient of an Artadia Chicago grant. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 and lives and works in Chicago. Deb Sokolow is represented by Western Exhibitions, Chicago.
Deb was featured in this article from Art In Print: http://tinyurl.com/artaftergraphicnovels
We are really excited about the way Deb’s work bends and reshapes the way we think about comics. Her installations are an exhilarating and unique approach to sequential narrative format and eloquently bridge the worlds of comics and fine art. We are so thrilled to have her be part of this year’s festival – one that is shaping up to be all about rethinking boundaries and redefining what comics can become.