John Sokol

(Canton, Ohio, 1947 - )

North America, American

John Sokol is a visual artist and poet whose artworks are often a combination of the verbal and the visual. Verbal puns serve as titles of Sokol’s paintings while common themes are literature and mythology, leading many to deem him a neo-classicist.

Sokol received a BFA in 1969 and an MFA in 1973 from Kent State University. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1977) and several shows at the Akron Art Museum, including a solo exhibition in 2000. His 1970s Word Portraits series, in which black and white drawings of famous authors are formed with text from their best-known works, have been widely published in literary magazines, as have his poetry and short stories. In the 1980s and 90s, Sokol began using tar as a medium in his paintings, creating dark and allegorical figural works. More recently Sokol has explored other untraditional media, creating colorful abstractions with mustard, laundry soap and coffee grounds, for example.

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