Disproof Does Not Equal Disbelief

Michael Stevenson

An unconventional invocation of Michael Stevenson’s practice over the past 35 years.

From his refuge in upstate New York—the studio/ living complex where he enacted a late pivot back to figuration—the American painter Philip Guston once offered the following outburst to the question of how such a turn could happen.

“What kind of man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into frustrated fury about everything and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue?”

Over time, this sparse utterance takes on an architectural form in the imagination, a model that proposes a tantalizing proposition when fleshed out. The painter’s words situate us in two distinct yet adjacent rooms. The first: a lounge with a TV, its live feed constantly aflicker. The second, a space that’s more sequestered, which we can simply understand as a place of production: “the studio.” Between these spaces, the painter, often working through the night, is also the viewer or reader, shuffling back and forth as he navigates these two rooms. At a certain point, night becomes day, and we shuffle back and forth together, the presence of one room arriving in the other.

Published following the eponymous exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, in 2021.

Described as an “anthropologist of the avant-garde”, Michael Stevenson (born in 1964 in Inglewood, New Zealand, lives and works in Berlin) investigates the mythology that surrounds renowned and controversial events which have been significant in the spheres of both art and politics.

Graphic design: Will Holder


美国画家Philip Guston曾在他位于纽约北部的避难所–他的工作室/生活综合体,在那里他完成了对具象艺术的后期转折,他对这种转折如何发生的问题提出了如下的看法。




被描述为 “前卫的人类学家”,迈克尔-史蒂文森(1964年出生于新西兰英格尔伍德,在柏林生活和工作)调查了围绕着著名的和有争议的事件的神话,这些事件在艺术和政治领域都是重要的。