New York, 201 Chrystie Street
Although Teresita Fernández is widely recognized for her contemplative public art works, the Miami-born and New York-based artist delivers equally elegant and conceptually concise reflections of her grand scale public works in her gallery exhibitions—Fire (America) at Lehmann Maupin's Chrystie street location is no exception. The namesake 16-foot glazed ceramic replica of a massively destructive fire scene amidst blindingly dark and eerily serene nighttime absorbs the viewer into an otherworldly narrative.
Somewhere between a fierce fire gruesomely destroying anything comes its way and a Dantesque inferno with no logical explanation, the scene awes, disturbs, and provokes. The exhibition title doubtlessly is the first generation Cuban-American artist’s statement on the current political state of her country. As a trauma captured in the red, orange, and yellow hues of the fire, Fernández’s ode to humanity and unpredictable outcomes of the mankind’s reckless actions solemnly rhymes with the contemporary climate.
Fernández, who was invited by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in 2011, most recently delivered an ambitious public art project at Madison Square Park, installing a canopy of golden, mirror-polished discs reaching in six sections to a total of five-hundred feet length. Upon its installation in the summer of 2015, Mad. Sq. Art announced the massive sculpture, titled Fata Morgana, as its biggest outdoor sculpture to date.
Fire (America) runs through May 20, 2017.