Tony Feher, “The Wart on the Bosom of Mother Nature”
D’Amelio Terras, New York
May 8 – July 2, 2004
D’Amelio Terras is pleased to present our fourth solo exhibition with New York-based artist Tony Feher. After a recent succession of site-specific installations presented in museums around the world, the artist will have his first solo exhibition in New York since 2001. Feher will exhibit discrete sculptures created from his signature materials: plastic bottles, glass jars, wire, stacking plastic crates, rope, plastic bags, pallet straps, and other cast-off items that suffuse contemporary daily life.
Feher came to prominence in the early 1990s, when he was affiliated with a new generation of postminimal and “scatter art” artists, creating accumulative artworks that, through their inclusion of hundreds of objects, hinted at autobiographic narrative. The rest of the decade largely brought a distillation of the earlier sculptures to their constituent parts: Feher made serial use of specific objects in a manner that highlighted their formal qualities while imbuing them with personal meaning (often derived from the sculptures’ scale relationship to his body). This reductive drive reached full expression in his 2001 solo exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, wherein Feher filled the entire museum with one artwork that touched neither the walls nor the floor and was lit only by natural light. This new exhibition offers a synthesis of the two tendencies. Feher returns to the unpolished nature of his earlier art while employing a newly expressive formal vocabulary.
In the gallery, associative links between individual sculptures conjure an environment that is distinctly the product of Feher’s sensibility. That sensibility has been related to Baudelaire’s ragpicker and his efforts described as “daydreaming with objects.” Feher draws upon the physical properties of everyday yet specific objects—material, color, weight, opacity—and pairs a lyrical impulse with formal rigor to illuminate the meaning of, impart value to, and celebrate the beauty of what normally goes unnoticed.
Tony Feher’s sculptures are in numerous public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth. He has recently exhibited in “State of Play,” curated by Rochelle Steiner, at the Serpentine Gallery, London; “Poetic Justice,” the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, curated by Dan Cameron; and at other museums and galleries across Europe and the U.S. A catalogue from the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum is available for purchase at the gallery.