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Dittmar exhibition ‘Social Regard’ explores social dynamics and art history

Works by Chicago artist Paula Henderson will be on view Jan. 11 to Feb. 13, 2019

"Freeze" by Paula Henderson
"Freeze" by Paula Henderson

EVANSTON -- Drawings, paintings, installations and a social media project by Chicago artist Paula Henderson will explore the constraints of social constructs and art.

Henderson’s exhibit “Social Regard” will be on display from Jan. 11 to Feb. 13 at Northwestern University’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery, located at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus. “Social Regard” is comprised of two series of works.

The first series explores gender-specific social constructs, specifically the commercial and cultural representations of women, which become internalized and can affect identity and self-worth.   

This social inquiry morphs into artistic inquiry in the series “Groundwork(s).”  Interested in the possibilities of postmodern abstraction not found in the self-contained formalism of modernist abstraction, Henderson focuses on prosaic, schematic patterns of visual appeal that operate simultaneously as social signifiers. 

Connecting the series are the artist’s interest in social dynamics and art history. Her artworks have probed systems of representation -- predominantly in the media -- and their determining presence in shaping the identity of, and about, women.

Henderson’s work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and she has received an NEA fellowship and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. She recently completed a public art commission for the Chicago Transit System station at 35th/White Sox redline station. Henderson teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Dittmar Gallery admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Sundays, except when a new exhibition is being mounted.

For more information, visit the Dittmar website, call the Dittmar Gallery at 847-491-2348 or email

Dittmar Gallery is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theatre, dance and visual arts.

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