Lehmann Maupin Opens Teresita Fernandez's Solo Show Today
Lehmann Maupin is honored to open its fall season in Hong Kong with the first solo show in China of acclaimed American artist Teresita Fernández, whose conceptual, experiential works are often characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking. The exhibition will be on view from today, 12 September through 9 November 2013. An opening reception for the artist will be held tonight, 12 September from 6 to 8 PM.
Inspired by the landscape and natural phenomena as well as diverse historical and cultural references, Fernández presents a range of new works that collectively demonstrate her remarkable ability to transform a multitude of materials and the surrounding architecture into unique perceptual experiences.
At the center of the exhibition is a striking and encompassing installation composed entirely of graphite from the artist's ongoing series, Epic. Referring to Borrowdale, England, where graphite was first discovered and mined in the early 1500s, Fernández pushes the boundaries of this once sought-after and coveted material. Spread across two walls in the main gallery, thousands of gem-like pieces of graphite cast what appear to be shadows, but in reality are actually soft graphite marks drawn by hand directly on surface of the wall. The dynamic composition recalls sweeping atmospheric clouds, grand natural phenomena or epic meteor events.
New drawings made with India ink on reflective chromed panel from the series, Golden, which includes a large-scale triptych measuring more than three and a half meters, continue Fernández's inquiries into materiality and mining, traditional landscape painting and the cultural significance of gold. The transparent ink marks and the mirror-like golden surface of the drawings play with the painterly convention of figure-in-the-landscape by superimposing the viewer's distorted reflection into the image. The scenes become like gestural film stills or cinematic panoramas. Golden relates closely to a sculptural installation the artist recently completed in Shanghai, titled Yellow Mountains. Made entirely of gold chains and pyrite ("Fool's Gold"), Yellow Mountains is an inverted topographical sculpture that refers to Huangshan, the mountain range that has inspired countless poems and paintings throughout Chinese history.
The exhibition delves further into the artist's exploration of opacity and transparency with a group of wall pieces that are comprised of hundreds of small convex glass mirrors and polished black onyx cabochons, which specifically makes reference to the Claude glass-an 18th-century painter's tool that contained a lustrous black mirror made of glass or obsidian used to view tonalities in landscape subjects. Among the works on view, both dark and light reflective surfaces create portraits of extreme opposites.
On Friday, 2 August, the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, will honor Fernández with their annual Aspen Art Award for Art in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the visual arts. Next year, in May 2014, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), North Adams, will present a major solo exhibition with the artist that will remain on view until April 2015.
Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami, Florida) received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BFA from Florida International University. She was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2005, and was appointed by President Obama to serve on the US Commission of Fine Arts in 2011. Additional awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award, an American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Artist's Grant, among others.
Fernández's large-scale commissions include the newly inaugurated headquarters for the United States Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, in Washington, D.C. and a site-specific installation titled Blind Blue Landscape at the renowned Bennesee Art site in Naoshima, Japan. She is the youngest artist commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum for the Olympic Sculpture Park, where her permanently installed work Seattle Cloud Cover allows visitors to walk under a covered skyway while viewing the city's skyline through optically shifting multicolored glass.
The artist's work is included in many of the world's most prominent public collections and has been the subject of important exhibitions around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; The Modern Art Museum of Ft. Worth, Texas; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga, Spain; and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, among others. Fernández is a board member of Artpace, a non-profit, international artist's residency program.
Teresita Fernández has lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York, for the past 15 years.