Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal presents a survey of the artist’s prolific and extraordinary interdisciplinary career, with a particular focus on the work’s relationship to the photographic image and to issues of representation and perception. At the core of Hank Willis Thomas’s practice, is his ability to parse and critically dissect the flow of images that comprise American culture, with particular attention to race, gender, and cultural identity. Other powerful themes include the commodification of identity through popular media, sports, and advertising. In the ten years since his first publication, Pitch Blackness, Thomas has established himself as a significant voice in contemporary art, equally at home with collaborative, trans-media projects such as Question Bridge, Philly Block, and For Freedoms as he is with high-profile, international solo exhibitions. This extensive presentation of his work contextualizes the material with incisive essays from Portland Art Museum curators Julia Dolan and Sara Krajewski and art historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, and an in-depth interview between art historian Kellie Jones and the artist that elaborates on Thomas’s influences and inspirations.
Hank Willis Thomas received his BFA from New York University, and an MFA in photography and an MA in visual criticism from California College of the Arts. His first monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture in 2008. His collaborative projects include the book and traveling exhibition Question Bridge: Black Males, the installation In Search of the Truth, and For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC, founded in 2016. In 2017, Thomas received the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize. He is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and Goodman Gallery in South Africa. Thomas participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in October 2005.