Teresita Fernández

Teresita Fernández


Teresita Fernández, Golden (Obsidian Sea), 2014. Gold chroming and India ink on wood panel, 80 x 64 inches.

April 14, 2014

Teresita Fernández: As Above So Below
May 24, 2014–April 5, 2015

Opening: Saturday, May 24, 4–6pm

Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art

1040 MASS MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247


Demonstrating the artist’s remarkable ability to transform materials and their surrounding architecture into an enveloping perceptual experience, Teresita Fernández: As Above So Below combines graphite and gold to create a series of immersive, interconnected installations whose scale shifts from intimate to vast, from miniature to panoramic. As Above So Below—opening with an artist’s reception on May 24—is made up entirely of new works and is Fernández’s largest solo exhibition to date.  

Describing a universe in balance, the phrase “as above, so below” originates from the ancient Hermetic tradition central to alchemy, in which every action occurring on one level of reality correlates to every other. Responding to MASS MoCA’s massive and light-filled first-floor galleries, Fernández’strio of new landscape-informed, large-scale installations—Black Sun, Sfumato (Epic), and Lunar (Theater)—embodies this expression, and is united through the show’s elaborately detailed exploration of the two essential minerals of gold and graphite.

In Black Sun Fernández transforms MASS MoCA’s triple-height gallery with thousands of suspended translucent tubes which gradate in color from amber to solid black, the resulting atmospheric planes evoking glowing cloud cover when viewed from below, and a topographical landscape when observed from overlooking balconies.  

The second work, Sfumato (Epic), consists of 40,000 small rocks of raw, mined graphite—each with a small, hand-drawn, graphite mark, emanating almost like a cosmic trail—spreads across the walls of the museum’s central galleries. In its entirety, Epic functions as a constellation.  Up close, individual graphite elements become miniaturized landscapes of their own.

In the third installation, Lunar (Theater), 2014—the title a reference to poet Susan Howe’s line, “The Sea is a Theater”—an 800-square-foot space is filled with a virtual sea of small glass beads arranged on a highly reflective gold surface. The gold surface, alternately exposed and obscured by the beads, alludes to the magnetic pull of heavenly bodies above on the tides below. Experienced as a phenomenal landscape event, the work and its title are an allusion to the cinematic and theatrical quality of looking at and being enclosed within the landscape. 

Selected India ink drawings on gold-chromed panels from Fernández’s most recent series, “Golden,” will be on view alongside the dramatic architectural interventions. 

About the artist
Teresita Fernández (b. 1968, Miami, Florida) is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts artist’s grant winner, and a U.S. Commission of Fine Arts appointee. She received her M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and her B.F.A. from Florida International University. She lives and works in Brooklyn, and is represented by the Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong.

This exhibition is supported by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Roberta & Michael Joseph, and Agnes Gund. Additional assistance with materials for the exhibition is from Glen Mills, Inc.

A 96-page hardcover catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an essay from the show’s curator, Denise Markonish, and a new essay from New York-based author Eliot Weinberger.  

MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest!) centers for making and enjoying the best new art of our time, across all media: music, art, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art and shared learning experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative. For additional information, call +1 413 662 2111 x1 or visit massmoca.org.

Opening reception, in conjunction with MASS MoCA’s fifteenth year celebration:
Saturday, May 24, 4–6pm

Reservations for the opening reception can be made by phone at +1 413 664 4481 x8157 or by email at rwehry [​at​] massmoca.org.


Teresita Fernández at MASS MoCA
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April 14, 2014

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