As a thesis exhibition, Beneath Them Was Forever presents artists at a moment of transformation at a radical scale. The artists on view are launching from their recent pasts as students and are now looking directly outward into their future working lives. It is a moment of trust— trust in progress, in the continuing evolution and power of their art and vision. In ways, both deliberate and unconscious, their work distills many common threads: the risk of exploration and experimentation; the hybridity of practice that dissolves standard boundaries of genre and the inquiry into the desire to empathize, with each other and in broader, more global terms. For the artists in this exhibition, having survived transformative cycles of their practice, this moment, as contrived as it may seem, is an opportunity to argue for the power of art-making to manifest the past and to construct the future.