November 1, 2009 – January 3, 2010 

Drawn Waters (Borrowdale), 2009

Drawn Waters (Borrowdale), 2009
Natural and machined graphite on steel
Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, NYC
Photo: Aaron Igler, Greenhouse Media

This fall, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is pleased to present the exhibition, Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape, a survey of new and recent works by this internationally acclaimed artist. Organized by the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) and curated by David Louis Norr, chief curator, USF Institute for Research in Art, in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition will be on view from November 1, 2009 to January 3, 2010. Visitors to Blind Landscape will actually move through one of Fernández’ works as they enter the museum—Stacked Waters, the breathtaking installation currently on view in the Blanton’s Rapoport Atrium.

Contemporary American artist Teresita Fernández (American b. 1969) 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 & contemporary art and director of curatorial affairs.  “Her lyrical investigations address our experiences of light and space as they evolve moment-to-moment and respond to sensation, memory, and the process of perception.”

The exhibition will include 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.

Additionally, the presentation at the Blanton will include Stacked Waters, 2009—a two-story, site-specific work commissioned for the museum’s atrium (pictured above) earlier this year. Stacked Waters consists of 3,100 square feet of custom–cast acrylic that covers the cavernous atrium walls in a striped blue 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 viewer emerges at the top of the grand stair. Titled in a nod to Donald Judd’s boxes, the work suggests that the space is a container, in this case a site of communal activity.

Teresita Fernández: Blind Landscape is organized by the USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa. The exhibition is curated by David Louis Norr, Chief Curator, USF Institute for Research in Art. Major support for the exhibition at the Blanton is provided by Jeanne and Michael Klein and the Linda Pace Foundation. Funding also is provided by Lora Reynolds and Quincy Lee in honor of Jeanne and Michael Klein.

Drawn Toward Light

November 1, 2009 – January 3, 2010

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 and local collections that use light as a medium. Having no materiality in itself, light is used is used in sculptural ways and given physical presence by artists Stephen Antonakos, Paul Chan, James Turrell, and Leo Villarreal.

Drawn Toward Light is curated by Risa Puleo, assistant curator of American and contemporary art, and is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art.