’Amelio Terras is pleased to present a Front Room exhibition by Tony Feher of seminal works dating from 1987 to 1993 that employ the use of a “vessel”. These works are the first examples where Feher utilized found and forgotten materials such as marbles, lidded jars, chips of glass, coal and washers in order to create formal, Post-Minimal sculpture imbued with personal and poetic resonance. This will be Feher’s fifth one-person exhibition with the gallery. Concurrently, a show of new sculpture will be held at PaceWildenstein, 32 East 57th Street. Tony Feher arrived in New York in 1981 and six years later turned his attention away from painting toward the formal diversity of objects and materials culled from the sideshow of consumer culture. Prompted by the reflective brilliance of new marbles displayed in the window of an East Village children’s store, Feher began creating his first mature sculpture in 1987. With their ribbed sides and golden lids, he would involve a utilitarian counterpoint to the flotsam he collected in the form of an equally common and unassuming honey jar. These first sculptures were the genesis of a lifelong exploration of sculptural assemblage. Speaking of the chips of glass, Tony Feher said in a March 2001 interview with Adam Weinberg:
“I pick theses things up because I’m curious. And I’ll think, this really is a remnant of our society… And then I become obsessed, and I’ll fill a whole honey jar with these things, and feel as if I just took a swipe across the night sky, grabbed a fistful of stardust, and put it in a jar.”
The journeys and personal explorations through specific neighborhoods and places resembled the practice of an archeologist. Feher’s early creative process was ritualistic excavation – uncovering artifacts whose selection suggested an autobiographical narrative. The use of a vessel as a means of containment and transport first appeared in the work of the late 80s. If carefully examined, their contents offered insight into their creator as well into society at that time.
Tony Feher’s sculptures are in numerous public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth. He has recently exhibited in “Poetic Justice,” the 8th International Istanbul Biennial and was a featured artist at the Chinati Foundation’s Open House in 2005. In 2007 Feher exhibited “Some Time Soon” at the Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi and “A Single Act of Carelessness Will Result in the Eternal Loss of Beauty,” was the inaugural exhibition in the Efroymson Pavilion at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.