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Grey Compositions

Tuesday, October 12 – Sunday, November 14, 2021

Carroll Sockwell (1943-1992) was a prominent figure in the Washington, D.C. art scene in the 1970’s. Often using the simplest of tools--pencil, charcoal, and pastel, Sockwell was an internationally acknowledged master of non-representational abstraction and belongs to the last generation of American Abstract Expressionists, with such influences as Paul Cezanne, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, and Cy Twombly. 

This exhibit features Sockwell’s suite of 6 large-scale drawings titled Grey Compositions. The drawings feature a cacophony of black charcoal marks dancing over smoke-like expanses of grey and brown. Viewed together, the abstract works’ map-like graphic notations suggest an epic visual poem or musical score.  

The George Mason University Art Collection is fortunate to have such a representative selection by this important but under-recognized African-American artist. This series of drawings was kindly donated by Mr. Ron Shapiro. Barry Broadway at Broadway Gallery generously provided archival museum framing.