Wilson Museum Showcases Photography of Professor Emeritus Robert Sulkin

Robert Sulkin

The photography of a distinguished member of the Hollins University faculty who taught for nearly four decades is the subject of a new exhibition at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.

Robert Sulkin: Photographs 1973-2019, which is on display January 16 – March 29, is a retrospective exhibition highlighting the work of the award-winning photographer who joined the Hollins faculty in 1980 and retired at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. The exhibition presents 120 images selected from 40-plus years of making photographs, ranging from his early social landscape works created in the mid-1970s to what the artist refers to as his landscape intervention work from 2019. Throughout his career, Sulkin has worked in series, and these will be displayed together somewhat chronologically.

Like many photographers working at the end of the 20th and early 21st centuries, Sulkin witnessed and experienced changes in technology that had profound effects on his work. Collectively his studio and/or photoshop-based fabrications comment on aspects of culture and track a progression of style and experimentation, some playful, some farcical, and some serious.

Of his work, Sulkin says, “Broadly, my photography deals with the futility of the individual attempting to cope in a technology-driven world spinning out of control.”

During his career, Sulkin has participated in over 200 solo, group, and juried exhibitions. In recent years, he has had shows at Virginia Tech, the Arts Club of Washington, the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, and the William King Museum of Art. His work has also appeared at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, The Light Factory, the Chrysler Museum of Art, college galleries throughout Virginia, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and 516 ARTS, among others. 

Sulkin will deliver a Cabell Artist Lecture on Thursday, February 13, at 6 p.m. in the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center. A reception will follow.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Robert Sulkin: Photographs 1973-2019 is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University is open Tuesday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m., and Thursdays, noon – 8 p.m. Admission is always free.