TONY FEHER - TOM FAIRS
March 1 - April 26, 2015
Tony Feher and Tom Fair appear to be two distinctly different sorts of artists - so different that the only outward thing connecting them seems to be the rhyming of their names - but there are surprising and profound connections. For both artists, light has been a continuing preoccupation. They differ in how they involve light in their works. Whereas Fairs represents light in his small, graphite drawings of trees, bushes and meadows of Hampstead Heath and manipulates the reflective white of the page to that end, Feher makes light itself a primary element in his works. Feher's installation here consists of countless overlapping pieces of blue painter's tape applied in varying patterns to Plexiglas panels, which cover the gallery's front door and windows. Light passes through the taped transparent panels creating an effect like that of stained glass and filling the entire gallery with a blue glow.
Feher's process is like drawing in that it involves repeated gestures of the hand, creating radiating lines and varying degrees of light and dark blue. Fairs' drawings are similarly constructed by accumulations of widely varying sorts of dark and light marks creating fields of gestures that read both as representational and abstract. In a sense, reflective light passing through these fields from the page to the viewer's eyes - is not unlike Feher's stained glass window effect. In fact, Fairs himself made stained glass works.
Tom Fairs (1925-2007) was a lifelong resident of London, where he taught fine art and stage design at the Central School of Art and Design from 1954-1987. After he retired from teaching he devoted himself full-time to his own art, producing a large body of drawings and paintings in the 20 years before his death in 2007. He did not exhibit his drawings during his lifetime, but since their introduction to the New York art world with a solo exhibition at Kerry Schuss in 2011, they have garnered laudatory reviews in the New York Times, New York magazine and Artforum. This is the third Tom Fairs gallery exhibition in New York.
Tony Feher, who is represented in New York by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956. He received a BA from The University of Texas, and currently resides in New York City. Feher's work can be found in public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. An in-depth retrospective organized by Claudia Schmuckli, director of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, premiered at the Des Moines Art Center in 2012. The exhibition traveled to the Blaffer Art Museum; the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; and Akron Art Museum.