Mass Observation: Solo exhibition of paintings and photographs

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

In his exhibition Mass Observation, Stevens presents a series of oil paintings on paper depicting groups of at least two, usually more people, either semi-clothed or naked, engaged in diverse sexual activities. They tend to focus on fore and after play (or some kind of alternative) rather than the main act. Alongside these, Stevens exhibited other paintings and photographs that have a closer relationship to older ongoing series he has made for some time. The subject matter for these works is very different, typically showing fragments or passing glimpses: a woman’s hair, the sea, or a branch of cherry blossom at night. All share a sort of fleeting episodic quality, like glimpses from a train window or snatches of an overheard conversation. Language has been an important part in all Stevens’ work for some time and the choice of medium is intended to modify or reinforce the subjects. Relationships between objects and images are as important to Stevens as what can be said through a single work, hence the free juxtaposition of painting and photographs in this show. As Stevens says, “all of my work, for as long as I can remember, and despite its different subject and rationales, has had, at its core my sense of bafflement at the things I don’t understand. Making art is to me a way of making sense of the world. The apparent subject matter has shifted, but the concerns remain the same.”
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherMummery and Schnelle
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2013

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