Teresita Fernandez

New York based artist, Teresita Fernández’s new works, created in collaboration with STPI workshop, evoke the dramatic experience of looking at the night sky for information. Each unique pulp work is perforated with Braille-like patterns that recall constellations. The title of the series, ―Night Writing‖ is a reference to "Ecriture Nocturne", a secret code written in the early 19th century so that Napolean's soldiers could communicate at night, silently and without light.

Names of people, places and things, from star crossed lovers, to famous gems, to coordinates marked by latitude lines are incorporated into the works as words translated into Braille and made into an abstracted composition of points that are superimposed on large-scale, ink-printed images of the night sky. Artworks such as ―Tristan and Isolde‖, ―Koh-i-Noor, and ―Tropic of Capricorn‖ are made up of cryptic words lost in an undecipherable code of dots. The works become statements on the ephemeral quality of language and the attempt to grasp the content hidden within the invisible text.

STPI papermakers formed cast sheets of paper and used pressurised water to puncture the wet pulp surface with composed dot patterns. As the paper slowly dried, the holes became tiny irregular openings. A sheet of mirror is placed behind the layer of cast paper to appear through the perforations, capturing the viewer's movement, reflecting atmospheric colours and light, and animating the surface of the works. Viewers become enmeshed within the act of looking, becoming reflected and absorbed as their own image is superimposed on that of the work. The image of the night sky serves as a conceptual backdrop for the act of searching for meaning within abstracted patterns.

Universally, human beings have always looked up for information. Like a vast billboard, the night sky has always been ―read‖ and scanned for revelation, direction and guidance. The stars have always served as marks that ground us to a physical location and time; they offer a sensual orientation within the universe, writes Fernández, whose enlightening essay, both historical and personal, sheds light on this fascinating subject. The essay, an integral part of the work, will be published as part of an artist's book designed to accompany the exhibition.

Teresita Fernández creates artworks of profound visual power and intellectual rigour, often exploring the complex relationships between perception and the psychology of looking. Fernández’s repertoire of sublime sculptures, installations and public art in a wide range of materials of remarkable virtuosity and sensitivity— take on metaphorical qualities and relate key themes with great visual resonance.

Born in 1968, in Miami, Florida, Fernández is a distinctive contemporary sculptor who is based in New York and exhibits worldwide. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant. She is represented in numerous collections internationally including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Walker Art Center. The artist’s recent projects and commissions include a large-scale outdoor public art commission for the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, where her work ―Seattle Cloud Cover‖ allows visitors to walk through a covered skyway while viewing the city’s skyline through tiny holes in multicolored glass; ―Blind Blue Landscape‖, a site-specific commission for the renowned Benesse Art Site in Naoshima, Japan, completed in September 2009; and ―Stacked Waters‖, a site-specific installation created for the cavernous entrance of the Blanton Museum of Art, January 2009.