Reality Check: Anna U Davis

Saturday, Jul 24 – Nov 28, 2021

5211 N. Clark
Chicago, IL 60640

Reality Check investigates the concept of diffusion of responsibility in regards to pressing global issues. Diffusion of responsibility is a socio-psychological phenomenon whereby an individual assumes that other people are responsible for taking necessary action. In Reality Check Davis juxtaposes mixed media paintings depicting diffusion of responsibility with works investigating gender inequality, racial discrimination, and climate change. The work addresses our unwillingness to listen, our resistance to speak up and our inability to see the imminent consequences of our indifference.

Reality Check is supported by the Ulla and Bertil Brunk Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince, and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

About the Artist, Anna U Davis: A native of Lund, Sweden, Davis began expanding her artistic practice and developing her signature “Frocasian” characters after moving to Washington, D.C., in the 1990s. Frocasians appear in her art as abstracted grey-toned figures, inspired by her interracial marriage, and her strongly held belief that everyone, regardless of their skin color, should be treated as equals and have the same opportunities in life. Davis creates narrative work where her characters investigate social inequalities, often focusing on gender relations. What began as hard-edge acrylic paintings have evolved into multimedia works which incorporate acrylic paint, cut-paper collage, textiles and traditional pen-and-ink drawing techniques. Davis is a two-time recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and has received multiple fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In 2020, she was featured on the cover of the journal Feminist Studies, Issue 46.1. Recent solo and duo shows include Galerie Myrtis (Baltimore), the Embassy of Sweden (Washington, D.C.) and Bredgade Kunsthandel (Copenhagen). Her work has been shown in additional solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Cuba (13th Havana Biennial) and is held in public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. 

About the Swedish American Museum: The Swedish American Museum has been active for 45 years in the heart of Andersonville, a traditionally Swedish area on the north side of Chicago and one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage in the United States. Located at 5211 N. Clark St., the Museum interprets the immigrant experience and promotes an appreciation of contemporary Swedish-American arts and culture. Our 24,000 square-foot cultural museum features two gallery spaces with special art exhibits, “The Dream of America” core exhibit, the Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration (closed until further notice due to COVID-19), a Genealogy Center, and the Museum Store. All areas are wheelchair accessible. Contact the Museum at 773.728.8111 to reserve a guided tour for your group or visit our website at for more information about tours, parking, and our hours of operation.