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Tony Feher, It Seemed a Beautiful Day, 2002
clear plastic beverage bottles with white screw caps, galvanized steel wire, stainless steel wire, water, isopropyl alcohol, food dye, and cotton-polyester clothesline, dimensions vary with installation, bottle cluster approximately 48 x 23 x 23 inches
Collection of The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Photograph by Adam Reich
Tony Feher, Just So, 2002
28 clear glass bottles with white plastic screw caps, distilled water, food coloring, overall: 7 1/4 x 100 inches (18.4 x 254 cm)
Collection of The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Photograph by David Wharton
Tony Feher, Untitled, 2009
emergency thermal blanket, 19 x 17 x 12 inches
Courtesy of the artist and ACME, Los Angeles, CA
Courtesy of La Colección Jumex
Photograph by Robert Wedemeyer
Tony Feher, Blossom, 2009
extruded polystyrene, 4 x 8 x 2 feet
Courtesy of the artist
Photograph by Jason Mandella
DeCordova is pleased to present the 25-year survey dedicated to American sculptor Tony Feher. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive, in-depth consideration of Feher’s career. It seeks to reveal the richness, complexity, and impact of his investigations through a careful selection of key works that revolve around a very personal, formal, material, and spatial vocabulary developed and refined over the years.
Feher’s materials range from bottles filled with colored water, to marbles and pennies, Styrofoam blocks and beverage crates, plastic bags and paper cups, to all kinds of packing materials. Although Feher's materials are quotidian and easily acquired, they are very specific, sought after, and chosen for their distinct and inimitable formal qualities. He stacks, dangles, unfolds, and aligns his materials to form sculptures of fluid lines, thoughtful rhythms and bursts of color and light that enable the viewer to observe and appreciate the beauty and poetry in the ordinary, everyday objects that surround them. The commonality of his materials and the apparent ease with which his works occupy their environment belie the rigorous nature of a practice driven by an incessant quest for moments of clarity, beauty, quietude.
Having come of age in an intellectual climate dominated by an overwhelming sense of endangerment due to the epidemic spread of AIDS, Feher, like so many artists of his generation, opted for humanism. His proud embrace of fragility, transience, and emotion, along with his preference for non-precious materials and found objects, has been highly influential for a younger generation of artists who have similarly become archivists of their own lives.
Purchase the exhibition catalogue here.
Tony Feher is organized by Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
The exhibition and publication are made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, Houston Endowment Inc., ACME., Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Hiram Butler and Devin Borden, D’Amelio Terras, Jennifer and Jeff Eldredge, The Pace Gallery, Despina Papafote Caldwell and Don Ballard, Julie A. Cohn and John A. Connor, Douglas and Jennifer Bosch, Martha Claire Tompkins, Sissy and Denny Kempner, Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Hiendarsanti Darmodjo, Heidi and David Gerger, Theodore J. Lee and Marc A. Sekula, Judy and Scott Nyquist, and Kenneth and Michelle Zagorski.
Major funding for Tony Feher at deCordova has been provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional funding provided by Fotene Demoulas and Thomas Coté. Support for Interpretive Programming has been provided in part by a grant from the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.
Special thanks to Donelan’s Supermarkets for their assistance in securing materials for this exhibition.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956, Feher grew up mostly in Corpus Christi, with early stops in Florida and Virginia, pursuing a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. He now lives in New York City. Feher has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. His work can be found in the collections of many notable institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Art; La Coléccion Jumex, Mexico City; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Tony Feher's practice is deeply personal, culled from all things, people, places, and events that have defined his life for more than half a century. He is a self-described archeologist of his own life.
Tour of Tony Feher exhibition with artist Andrew Witkin
Sunday, June 2, 2 pm
Tony Feher is admired greatly in the artist community. Join Boston artist Andrew Witkin for an insider perspective on why Feher’s work is so evocative and inspiring to contemporary visual artists.
Tour of Tony Feher exhibition with artist Rachel Perry Welty
Thursday, August 1, 2 pm
Tony Feher is admired greatly in the artist community. Join Boston artist Rachel Perry Welty for an insider perspective on why Feher’s work is so evocative and inspiring to contemporary visual artists.
Artist Talk: Tony Feher
Saturday, September 7, 2 pm
Join exhibiting artist Tony Feher for an illustrated lecture that navigates the first survey exhibition of his career. Feher's practice is at once playful and deeply personal, accentuating the natural beauty seen within the everyday with a poignant pop. Feher will share stories and inspiration behind his artwork and discuss his site-specific works commissioned by deCordova on the occasion of this monumental twenty-year retrospective.
Members-Only Brown Bag Lunch and Tour of Tony Feher
Friday, September 13, 11 AM–1 PM
Join deCordova Curators for lunch and a Members-Only tour. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 781.259.3635.