The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to present Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape, a survey of new and recent works by this internationally acclaimed artist. The exhibition is organized by and premiered at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) and was curated by David Louis Norr, chief curator, USF Institute for Research in Art, in close collaboration with the artist. Accompanying Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape, Drawn Toward Light is an exhibition featuring works from the Blanton's collections that use light as a medium. Both exhibitions will be on view November 1, 2009 to January 3, 2010.
American artist Teresita Fernández (born in Miami, lives and works in Brooklyn) is widely known for her immersive installations and evocative large-scale sculptures that explore the cultural fabrication of nature. Characterized by her deft ability to transform common materials like steel, graphite and glass into forms and images reminiscent of the natural world, Fernández' works bring idea and experience into poetic tension. Meticulous, subtle, and always surprising, her sculptural scenarios offer viewers unique opportunities for contemplation and discovery.
"Investigating the act of looking is central to Teresita Fernández' work," says Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, the Blanton's curator of American and contemporary art and director of curatorial affairs. "Her works address our experiences of light and space as they evolve moment-to-moment and respond to sensation, memory, and the process of perception."
The Austin presentation of the exhibition includes five recent large-scale sculptures, a series of six wall works, and a new, monumental drawing made on site. Featured among the large-scale works is Vertigo (sotto en su) from 2007, comprised of layers of precision-cut, highly polished metal woven into a reflective and intricate arboreal pattern suspended high above the viewer, not unlike an immense, cascading tree branch. "The multiple planes of space through which the viewer looks become visible simultaneously, vacillating between object and optical phenomena, continuously disassembling and reassembling," writes curator Norr.
The Blanton's presentation also features Stacked Waters, 2009—a two-story, site-specific work commissioned for the museum's Rapoport Atrium earlier this year. Stacked Waters consists of 3,100 square feet of custom–cast acrylic that covers the cavernous atrium walls in a striped swirl pattern resembling water. Horizontal bands of saturated color shift and fade from deep blue to white, creating what the artist calls "a colored abstraction" from which the visitor emerges at the top of the Museum's grand stair. Titled in a nod to Donald Judd's boxes, the work suggests that the space is a container, in this case of light and communal activity. Visitors move within its volume, lured by the image yet fully aware of its fabrication.
Major support for Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape at The Blanton is provided by Jeanne and Michael Klein and the Linda Pace Foundation. Funding also is provided by Julie and John Thornton and by Lora Reynolds and Quincy Lee in honor of Jeanne and Michael Klein.
Drawn Toward Light
Light is an essential element of visual experience and the means by which we see and begin to perceive the world around us. A special complement to Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape, Drawn Toward Light is an exhibition of works from the Blanton's holdings that use light as a medium. Stephen Antonakos, Paul Chan, James Turrell and Leo Villarreal focus light into elemental geometric shapes to give it physical presence and sculptural form.
Drawn Toward Light is curated by Risa Puleo, assistant curator of American and contemporary art, and is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art.