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Teresita Fernández

PRESS

The Brooklyn Rail

May 1, 2017

PRESS

The Art Newspaper

March 4, 2017

News

The future of the arts is Latinx: Q&A with artist Teresita Fernandez

October 5 2016

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Art21

September 24, 2016

News

Discovering the World From Nature's Many Perspectives Hyperallergic

December 31 2015

News

Women in Art: Teresita Fernández

November 30 2015

News

At Grace Farms, Encountering Art at Every Bend New York Times

November 28 2015

News

Interview with Sculptor Teresita Fernández Aesthetica Magazine

November 24 2015

News

Sculpting the Public: Teresita Fernández Wants You In Her Work Modern Painters

October 31 2015

News

Grace Farms Draws Praise Stamford Advocate

October 19 2015

News

The Spiritual and Spectacular Meet at an Ultramodern Community Center in Connecticut New York Times

October 16 2015

News

Poetry Under Fata Morgana Organized by Teresita Fernández and Emanuel Xavier

September 17 2015

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ArtNexus Teresita Fernández. Fata Morgana.

August 11, 2015

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Arte al Dia International

June 2015

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Cultured Magazine

April 18, 2015

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WSJ Artist Teresita Fernández Transforms New York’s Madison Square Park

March 31, 2015

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Departures Magazine Artist of the Moment: Teresita Fernández

January 9, 2015

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Gothamist Massive 500-Foot-Long Canopy Coming To Madison Square Park

November 11, 2014

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New York Times

November 6, 2014

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Modern Art Notes Podcast

August 18, 2014

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W Magazine

July 17, 2014

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The Brooklyn Rail

July/August 2014

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Sculpture

November 2013

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Art Bahrain

Fall 2013 - Winter 2014

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Architectural Digest

October 2013

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Modern Painters

October 2013

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South China Morning Post

September 26, 2013

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Whitewall

February 1, 2013

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W Magazine

October 2012

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The Wall Street Journal

September 14, 2012

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Artinfo

September 12, 2012

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Bloomberg

September 5, 2012

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Whitewall

November 30, 2011

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W Magazine

November 30, 2011

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The New York Observer

September 19, 2011

News

White House Appoints Artist Teresita Fernandez to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

September 2011

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Art in Asia

August 31, 2011

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Artdaily

May 26, 2011

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artdaily

January 31, 2011

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Artinfo

November 16, 2010

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Financial Times

April 9, 2010

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Bob Magazine Issue 67

February 28, 2010

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Artforum

February 28, 2010

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Art Lies

February 28, 2010

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Monocle

October 31, 2009

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Anne Stringfield Interview

October 31, 2009

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David Norr Essay

October 31, 2009

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Dave Hickey Essay

October 31, 2009

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Annette DiMeo Carlozzi Essay

October 31, 2009

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The Business Times

September 19, 2009

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Artforum

August 31, 2009

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St. Petersburg Times

August 23, 2009

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Dallas Morning News

August 8, 2009

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...might be good

February 6, 2009

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Blackbird

August 31, 2008

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Vogue

April 1, 2007

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Tema Celeste

October 22, 2005

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USA Today

September 20, 2005

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ArtNexus

June 1, 2005

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ArtReview

April 1, 2005

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Art + Auction

March 1, 2005

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Art in America

November 1, 2003

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Art in America

March 1, 2003

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Art in America

December 1, 2001

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ARTnews

September 1, 2001

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New York Times

March 21, 1999

The Brooklyn Rail


Teresita Fernández: Fire (America)
By Lara Atallah

 

Fire portends calamity. It carries at its core the mission to obliterate all that is in its way. It is inherently destructive and regenerative, making it ultimately an oxymoron. Poets and novelists have sung the praises of fire as an annihilating force that fuels passionate, romantic love—one that symbolizes a rebirth of sorts. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus, the god of fire, married Aphrodite, the goddess of love. To a pyromaniac, watching a fire they have set is said to be akin to sexual release. For Native Americans, fire is quintessential for cleansing the earth in order to grow new crops; it is through the marriage of earth and fire that life is created.

 

Teresita Fernández’s 16-foot glazed ceramic wall panel, Fire (America) (2016) is a hypnotic installation daunting by virtue of its scale, and mesmerizing by virtue of its vivid color and heavy symbolism that abounds. From the title of the piece, we understand that the nocturnal landscape being devoured by flames is a metaphor for America—a nation that exists both as a place and fragmented vision, ultimately forming a fifty-state mosaic. The work however is not just a representation of the planet’s natural elements; it is a multi-layered replica of the earth and of the American continent, which unravels more and more the longer one spends with it.

 

The scale of this installation renders it an immersive work, absorbing and transporting you to a deeper level of your psyche. Such is, after all, Fernández’s calling card. Known for her monumental installations, such as Fata Morgana (2015), a sculpture made of mirrors suspended above Madison Square Park—her largest public work to date—Fernández has mastered a multi-faceted understanding, interpretation, and construction of landscape.

 

Embodying contemporary American violence, Fire (America) brings to mind some of the most horrifying narratives that have plagued the history of this nation. The title’s two words hint at the dark history of racism. The country’s past will always be tarnished with images of the K.K.K. burning crosses on front lawns in the dead of night. Its present continues to be tormented by instances of hopeless police brutality. The addition of 2016 inexorably recalls the explosive nature of a tumultuous election year that ignited a fire likely to burn for many years. And, as we all know, when flames wane, they leave behind a scorched soil.

 

Fire (America) is complemented by another installation that commands the show: Charred Landscape (America) (2016), made of stacked charcoal stretching across the gallery walls like roots trying to escape from devastation. And as it traverses the gallery as a large-scale canvas, it renders the mood morose. The key here lies again in the choice of material: charcoal made by burning wood in the absence of oxygen. Superimposing the two installations creates a dialogue between life (fire) and death (charcoal).

 

As the fire marries the night in this ardent installation, Fernández’s work comes across as undeniably poetic. Its power and beauty lie in its not-so-subtle political undertones. These landscapes are windows to our physical world as much as they are windows to our minds. Their visual effect is cathartic and pushes viewers to look back at the history of the land they’re currently standing on, and face the narrative surrounding how they’ve established themselves there in the first place.