Blaffer Art Museum is pleased to present a twenty-year survey dedicated to American sculptor Tony Feher. The exhibition and the accompanying monograph represent the first attempt at a comprehensive, in-depth consideration of Feher’s career. It seeks to reveal the richness, complexity, and impact of Feher’s investigations through a careful selection of 60 key works that revolve around a very personal formal, material, and spatial vocabulary developed and refined over the past couple of decades.
Feher’s art can be initially challenging in its apparent ordinariness, in particular when it comes to the nature of his materials. Some of this has to do with the fact that Feher’s works are mostly made up of objects that generally play a passing role in our lives that are usually discarded after their contents are consumed, or equally disposable packing and storing material. Feher selects the elements for his sculptures with utmost care and restraint; despite their generic character, ready availability, and ubiquitousness, in his hands they become specific. He often lives with materials for a long time, finally singling them out for their formal qualities and potentialities. Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator of Blaffer Art Museum explains, “Tony Feher’s work stands out as an oddly optimistic ode to hope. Its power to move us lies in the artist’s desire to carve out moments of profound solace and quietude, to restore order and beauty where there is chaos and ugliness, and to celebrate the power of creativity as humanity’s most powerful weapon and achievement.” Feher doesn’t seek so much to transform as to accentuate the inherent characteristics of his artistic tools, to enable us to truly see and appreciate their value and beauty, or simply to see and appreciate things differently and anew. As Feher has summed it up, “Life is vulnerable, not fragile. Life perseveres. It has a tenacious grip. My art may appear fragile, but it holds on.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated monograph. At roughly 272 pages, with more than 100-four color plates and essays by Russell Ferguson, Chair, Department of Art, UCLA, and exhibition curator Claudia Schmuckli, it will be the first publication to fully document and interpret Feher’s artistic output. The monograph is designed by Takaaki Matsumoto Inc., New York, and published and distributed by Gregory R. Miller & Co., New York.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956, Feher was brought up in Corpus Christi, Texas and pursued a BA from the University of Texas, Austin. He now lives in New York.
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.