Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions
June 11–September 28, 2014
The title of this exhibition is adapted from the phrase “the sight of a reason,” a line in Gertrude Stein's groundbreaking prose work Tender Buttons (1914). In her collection of “portraits” of everyday phenomena, Stein employed experimental syntax to free language from established usage and to “create a word relationship between the word and the things seen.” Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions begins with an ongoing work by the Los Angeles–based artist Eve Fowler (American, b. 1964), which appropriates phrases from Tender Buttons and Stein's How to Write (1931) in commercially printed posters originally intended for public display—for instance, stapled to telephone poles or fences. Stein’s probing of the correlation between language and the physical world—and Fowler’s act of recontextualization—exemplify a set of concerns shared by the works presented here.