Retrospective at the Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum is honored to present the first major retrospective of leading contemporary artist Hank Willis Thomas (American, b. 1976). Thomas’s bold, thoughtful, and deeply moving artwork asks us to see and challenge systems of inequality that are woven into the fabric of contemporary life, leaving no doubt that art is an essential tool in ongoing struggle for social justice. Spanning nearly twenty-five years of Thomas’s exploration of everyday imagery and its consequences, All Things Being Equal… demands that we look critically at our own society while reminding us that we have the power to speak, listen, hope, and hold fast to joy.

The nearly 100 artworks in the exhibition include sculptures and multi-media works, monumental textile works constructed from reclaimed prison uniforms and athletic jerseys, photographs, interactive video installations and public art projects. As a whole, All Things Being Equal… reflects themes Thomas has examined throughout his career, such as the human toll of gun violence, the impact of corporate branding, the roots and uses of notions of gender and race, interconnected worldwide struggle for liberty and equality, and the importance of participation—in experiences of art as well as in broader civic life. The exhibition also highlights Thomas’s mining of personal and public archives, and his ability to reframe texts, images and materials to connect historical moments of resistance to our lives today.