Cheryl Hazan Gallery is pleased to present "18 Anonymous Facts," a solo exhibition of new work by Thomas Stevenson.
Continuing the artist’s interest in addressing systems of power, the selection of works on view delves into the intricacies of language and presentation. Large wooden panels, each dawning a short fragment of text, surround the viewer in an environment of rhetorical discord. Written in stark black and white contrast, they exude an allusion of declaration, if not wisdom, that invites personal decryption of both meaning and validity. Upon close reading, some begin to implode into logical repudiation, while others ring true with willfully blunt charm.
Rather than educate or convince, the series aims to inspire qualifications from the viewer, illuminating an individual’s agency to question rather than blindly consume. The panels evoke traditions of signage and telecommunications, presenting materiality as embodiment of information. The viewer is positioned to question the passivity with which it is accepted in the everyday. Addressing the increasingly unfiltered distribution of information that is enabled by modern technology, Stevenson’s recent work creates a platform for reflection.
Familiarity and comfort are enduring principals in Stevenson’s work, always present as a means of facilitating engagement with the public. His work taps into the materiality of everyday experiences in order to inspire interaction and open interpretation. In past works, he has presented different forms of recognizable surroundings, such as a series of camping tents and a moveable disco sound system, as a way to open discussion on common ground. It is through this common-denominator methodology that exchange and experimentation are facilitated in the artist’s work.