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David Stephens: Auguries of Idolatry

February 7 – April 19, 2014

About David Stephens: Auguries of Idolatry

Nationally recognized sculptor, David Stephens, lost his vision as an adult-practicing artist over a period of years. During that time, he planned projects that include the four wall-mounted and freestanding installations he is currently completing for his solo show at The Center for Art in Wood.

Explaining the title of the show, Stephens says “The word ‘auguries’ as used by William Blake (1757–1827) means prophecy or divination.” The visionary British poet, painter, and printmaker, Blake, wrote about the sorcery and enchantment of idolatry in his poem “Auguries of Innocence.” Working in wood, Stephens uses hugely oversized Braille “bumps” to address issues relating to communication. The shift in scale and consequent illegibility to both the sighted and the blind precipitates a shift in perception from one sensory focus to another. Stephens believes, “Writing is symbols and many times I think that those symbols in and of themselves can become idols.” This work illuminates the power and mutability of symbols.