Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present a group of new works by Teresita Fernández for her fourth exhibition at the gallery's Chelsea location. Made entirely of graphite, the works in the exhibition establish a unique and unconventional vocabulary with the material itself. 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. Reimagining the graphite landscape of Borrowdale, her works reflect elements of sculpture and installation and redefine the notion of precisely what constitutes a drawing.
In Drawn Waters (Borrowdale), precision-machined, polished panels of graphite and massive fragments of the raw, mined material are assembled to create a large-scale sculpture of an undulating, dissolving waterfall. Alluding to Leonardo da Vinci's studies of moving water as well as to Robert Smithson's land pours, Fernández turns the idea of a drawing into tangible form, making a solid sculpture that is in effect a three-dimensional gestural graphite drawing, a line dragged through the gallery space. For Fernández, to assemble the sculpture is to engage in the act of drawing.
In her Nocturnal Series, Fernández creates works that are at once landscape painting, conventional drawing and sculptural relief. From afar these suggest dark, monochrome minimalist paintings. As viewers approach, the works slowly reveal detailed and lustrous romantic landscapes. Like a drawing over a drawing, the graphite--carved, polished, layered and drawn on--reflects light to depict luminous night scenes of oddly familiar but mysteriously displaced sites. In Passaic Pour Fernández again nods to Smithson; the iconic Great Falls of Passaic are reinvented as a grand nocturnal scene of an immense pour.
The surrounding white walls of the gallery become the ground for pieces such as Epic. Made of swarms of tens of thousands of small pieces of graphite attached to the wall, the lustrous, gem-like pieces cast what appear to be shadows that are actually soft graphite marks drawn directly on the wall. Object and process morph to become both the act of drawing and the finished mark, verb and noun. The entire dynamic composition recalls sweeping atmospheric clouds, grand natural phenomena or epic meteor events.
Teresita Fernández was born in 1968 in Miami, Florida and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions internationally and abroad at sites including the New Museum of Contemporary, New York; the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Spain; the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia; Site Santa Fe, New Mexico, Castello di Rivoli, Torino, Italy; the Witte de With in Rotterdam; and the Miami Art Museum, Florida. Fernández has completed numerous public commissions including one at the Louis Vuitton Maison in San Francisco, California and another at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, where her work Seattle Cloud Cover allows visitors to walk through a covered skyway while viewing the city's skyline through tiny holes in multicolored glass.
In January 2009, The Blanton Museum of Art unveiled Stacked Waters, a site-specific installation created for the cavernous entrance of the museum. Her new permanent commission Blind Blue Landscape opened in September 2009 at the renowned Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan. Also completed in September 2009 is Starfield, a large-scale commission for the new state-of-the-art Dallas Cowboys Stadium. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards both in the U.S. and abroad, including the 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 1999 Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Her work is included in numerous major private collections as well as the permanent collections of the St. Louis Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Miami Art Museum, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Sammlung Goetz in Munich, Germany and the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York. A solo exhibition of new and older works recently on view at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida, will travel to the Blanton Museum of Art in Texas opening 1 November 2009. The exhibition will travel on to the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art in 2010. A new monograph edited by David Louis Norr with essays by Dave Hickey, Anne Stringfield and Gregory Volk published by JRP Ringier and the USF Contemporary Art Museum accompanies the exhibition. In early 2010, Fernández will begin a residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.
For more information please visit our website, www.LehmannMaupin.com, or contact the gallery at 212 255 2923 or Bethanie@LehmannMaupin.com.