Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami; lives in New York) is a conceptual artist best known for her immersive, sensuous sculptures and monumental public art. Her work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking, and her immersive, large-scale works are often inspired by a rethinking of landscape and place, as well as by diverse historical and cultural references. Often referencing the natural world, Fernández’s conceptual practice emphasizes the connection between place and material; using gold, graphite, iron-ore and other minerals that have loaded historical ties to colonization and the violence embedded in landscape. Her work is characterized by a quiet unraveling of place, power, visibility, and erasure that prompts an intimate experience for individual viewers.
Fernández received a BFA from Florida International University, Miami, FL in 1990 and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 1992. She is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (2005) and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship (2003), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award (1999), an American Academy of Rome Fellowship (AFAAR) (1999), and a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant in Visual Arts (1994). In 2011, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. She is the first Latina to serve on the 100-year-old federal panel, which advises the president and Congress on national matters of design and aesthetics. In 2021, Fernández will install a monumental, outdoor sculpture titled Paradise Parados on the rooftop of the BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn, NY.
Solo exhibitions of Fernández’s work have been organized at the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ (2020); Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL (2019); Harvard University, Boston, MA (2018); Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, NY (2017); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2014); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH (2011); University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL (2009); and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain (2005). Site-specific commissions include Night Writing, Park Tower, San Francisco, CA (2019); Vînales (Mayombe Mississippi), New Orleans Museum of Art, Sculpture Garden, New Orleans, LA (2019); Island Universe, Ford Foundation, New York, NY (2019); Autumn (...Nothing Personal), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2018); Double Glass River, Grace Farms, New Canaan, CT (2015); Fata Morgana, Madison Square Park, New York, NY (2015); Golden (Panorama), Aspen Art Museum, CO (2014); Nocturnal (Navigation), United States Coast Guard, Washington, D.C. (2013); Stacked Waters, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX (2009); Blind Blue Landscape, Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan (2009); and Seattle Cloud Cover, Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA (2006).
Fernández’s work is featured in numerous international public and private collections, including Albright- Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; Bloomberg Family Foundation, New York, NY; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, NY; Grace Farms, New Canaan, CT; Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, TX; LVMH Collection, Paris, France; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.