artist / participant

press release

The Pace Gallery is pleased to present "Next On Line," an exhibition of new sculptures by Tony Feher this January. The exhibition is Feher's second at Pace and will be on view at 534 West 25th Street, New York, from January 14 through February 12, 2011. A public reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, January 13 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Next On Line features multiple sculptures made of clear vinyl tubing in lengths of up to 300 feet, each filled with colored water and hung from walls or ceilings to create curving lines that spill into coils and arabesques on the gallery floor. While exploring the linear and dimensional possibilities of readily available commercial tubing, Feher found that he could fill the transparent tubes with colored water and “draw” in space with the material. The works’ palette of red, yellow, blue, and green comes from the predetermined hues of food coloring. Feher’s investigations result in sculptures of fluid line, thoughtful rhythms, and a sensation of color and light, with loops and lines that can be either open or tight, baroque or minimal.

Stemming from an interest in the post-minimalist tradition of Richard Tuttle and Eva Hesse, Feher’s work also reflects a panoply of other influences, from Marcel Duchamp’s humor and ambiguity to Robert Irwin’s and Dan Flavin’s fascination with the perceptual effects of light and color. As with much of Feher’s previous work, including his installations of bottles filled with colored water, the tube sculptures change dramatically depending on variable factors including the thickness of the tube and the intensity of lighting, rendering the color opaque or transparent.

Pace will also present a new installation sculpture by Feher, Untitled (Bower), 2010, inspired by the behavior of the New Guinean bower bird. Known for its unique courtship ritual, the male of the species builds and decorates a structure with collections of sticks and brightly colored objects in an attempt to attract a mate. Untitled (Bower) consists of a Persian carpet strewn with assorted collections of exotic items. Areas of the carpet are covered with piles of objects of various form, color, and meaning, which Feher has accumulated over the past decade. A flocked white bush sprouting ficus and oak leaves sits in the center of the carpet, “blossoming” out of the floral pattern of the rug. Clear plastic bottles half-filled with water hang from the ceiling above the rug, mphasizing the threedimensions of the environment above the floor piece. The disparate collections and elements unite to form a whole, visually amplifying the other components of the artwork. Feher’s interest in carpets allowed him to see the Persian carpet as a symbol of social pretense—an eastern object that became an American motif synonymous with upper middle class sensibility, sprung from a regime with which the U.S. is now at odds. Untitled (Bower) will be on view an intimate room in the back of the gallery. For more than 25 years, Feher has created abstract sculptures and installations that dramatically and playfully engage the spaces they inhabit. “Tony’s materials, although common, are chosen and employed so that their physical natures perform particular formal tasks—that is, they function in terms of traditional sculptural issues of density, color, light, mass, texture, and scale,” wrote Dan Cameron, curator of a solo exhibition of Feher’s work at Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. “In this way they declare their art status yet all the while retain their original identity.”

Tony Feher (b. 1956, Albuquerque, New Mexico) began exhibiting his work in 1980, and by 1991 was showing both nationally and internationally. Since that time his work has been featured in over 160 gallery and museum exhibitions worldwide. Feher has been the subject of important solo exhibitions and installations at museums and institutions including the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2008); Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2008); the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi (2007); the Chinati Foundation, Marfa (2005); the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2004); the 8th International Istanbul Biennial (2003); the Worcester Art Museum (2002); the Berkeley Art Museum (2002); the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2001), a version of which later traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York (2000); and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (1996).

In 2010 Feher installed a long term, site determined commission for Arthouse at the Jones Center in Austin, Texas. For the past seven years Feher has worked on a major public commission for the grounds of the federal district courthouse in Rockford, Illinois, which will open in spring of 2011.

Feher’s work is part of numerous public collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Dallas Museum of Art; Des Moines Art Center; La Colección Jumex, Mexico City; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Worcester Art Museum.

Tony Feher received a B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin in 1978. He has lived and worked in New York City since 1981.

Tony Feher
Next On Line