MacArthur Fellows Program

Teresita Fernández

Sculptor and Installation Artist | Class of 2005

Integrating architecture and the optical effects of color and light into exquisitely constructed, contemplative spaces.

Title
Sculptor and Installation Artist
Location
New York, New York
Age
37 at time of award
Area of Focus
3-D Visual Art

Teresita Fernández is a sculptor who integrates architecture and the optical effects of color and light to produce exquisitely constructed, contemplative spaces. In her sculptural environments, Fernández alters space to create illusions, subtly modifying the physical sensations of the viewer and dramatizing the role architecture plays in shaping our lives and perceptions. Her room-sized installations evoke quietude and mystery, reflecting such diverse aesthetic influences as Roman and Ottoman architecture and Japanese gardens. In other works, she creates large-scale, referential constructions, such as a pool, a waterfall, and a sand dune stripped of specific context. With these pared-down pieces, she invites viewers to draw from their personal memories and observations. Employing common building materials to startling effect – tiny plastic cubes form a shimmering rainbow and acrylic rods suggest the flexible strength of bamboo – she inspires viewers to see a new relationship between built environments and the natural world. With lyrical and immaculately executed indoor and outdoor works, Fernández is pushing the boundaries of sculpture and installation art into the fields of architecture and landscape architecture.

Teresita Fernández received a B.F.A. (1990) from Florida International University and an M.F.A. (1992) from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such national and international venues as the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Fernández was an artist-in-residence at Artpace San Antonio (1998) and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome (1999).  She lives and works in New York City.  

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Please credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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