Sandy Sokoloff was educated in the New York City public school system and attended Queens College, CUNY on a Regents Scholarship before enrolling at Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1962. He received a BFA in 1966 and MFA in Painting, 1969. He then taught at Wellesley College (1969-76); Boston University (1977-78); Art Institute of Boston (1979-80). He had exhibitions beginning in 1973 and culminating in 1993 when he reached a spiritual and artistic impasse. He withdrew from the art world. Returning to the studio in 2013 after a twenty-year hiatus, he deepened his investigation into the spiritual nature of art. By 2019 he had produced a body of work which extrapolates the imagery of ancient Judaic mysticism and mounted a one-man exhibition ‘Emanation’ at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. A year later (2020) his work was included in ‘Transcendence’ at Burlington City Arts along with artists Anila Quayyum Agha, Shahzia Sikander, and Zarina.
In 1964, I saw an exhibition by Pierre Bonnard at the Museum of Modern Art and upon returning to art school in Boston began to work in a post-impressionistic style influenced by this exposure. Then seeing ‘Dead Christ with Angels’ by Edouard Manet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and being greatly moved by the work of Mark Rothko and Alfred Jensen, I came to understand that, for me, painting is a spiritual act and making paintings is my spiritual practice.
It has become standard practice for me to continually change entire passages of a painting to achieve an ultimate balance of color, form, space, and surface – so that the work projects a quality of inevitability. So that the work is compellingly real.