Olynyk featured in ‘Skeptical Inquirers’

Is art more like belief or skepticism? Like belief, art can embody a sense of knowledge, yet it also can pose questions, challenge inaccuracies and interrogate the world in which we live.

Photograph of prosthetic leg.
Patricia Olynyk, “Isomorphic Extension I + II,” 2011 53 1⁄4 × 24″, C-Print.

For Patricia Olynyk, director of graduate art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, art practice and skepticism both serve as means to knowledge. Her work frequently examines how cultural and institutional structures shape our understanding of history, science and the natural world.

This spring, The Mishkin Gallery in Manhattan, part of the City University of New York’s Baruch College, will showcase several of Olynyk’s projects in “Some Provocations from Skeptical Inquirers,” a two-person exhibition with Ellen K. Levy. Featured are Olynyk’s large-scale photographs of prosthetic devices as well as excerpts from her “Mutable Archive,” which collects fictional biographies based on a 19th-century physiognomist’s collection of skulls. The exhibition opens Feb. 18 and will remain on view through March 23. For more information, visit The Mishkin Gallery.