Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami, FL; lives in New York, NY) creates work characterized by an interest in self-reflection and conceptual wayfinding. Her immersive, monumental works are inspired by a rethinking of landscape and place, as well as by diverse historical and cultural references. Often drawing inspiration from the natural world, Fernández’s practice unravels the intimacies between matter, places, and human beings. Her luminous works poetically challenge ideas about landscape by exposing the history of colonization and the inherent violence embedded in how we imagine and define locations. Her work questions power, visibility, and erasure in ways that prompt reflective engagement for individual viewers.
Fernández received a B.F.A. from Florida International University, Miami, FL in 1990 and an M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 1992. She is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow (2005) and the recipient of numerous awards, including a Creative Capital Award (2022); Meridian Cultural Diplomacy Award (2021); 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 installed a monumental, outdoor sculpture titled Paradise Parados on the rooftop of the BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn, NY, which was honored with an Award for Excellence in Design by the New York City Public Design Commission (2021).
Solo exhibitions of Fernández’s work have been organized at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (2021); Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (2021); 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, Fort Worth, TX (2011); Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OH (2011); University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL (2009); and Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Málaga, Spain (2005). Site-specific commissions include Paradise Parados, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY (2021); Apparition (Golden), Denning House, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2021); Solarium (Sanctuary), Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL (2019); 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, Aspen, 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 the 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; Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL; Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, TX; Ford Foundation, New York, NY; Grace Farms, New Canaan, CT; Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; 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; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX; Nerman Collection, Overland Park, KS; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL; Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Progressive Art Collection, Mayfield, 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.; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Sprint Art Collection, Overland Park, KS; Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.