Tony Feher

DeCordova is pleased to present the 25-year survey dedicated to American sculptor Tony Feher. This exhibition will be the first comprehensive, in-depth consideration of Feher’s career. It seeks to reveal the richness, complexity, and impact of his investigations through a careful selection of key works that revolve around a very personal, formal, material, and spatial vocabulary developed and refined over the years.

Feher’s materials range from bottles filled with colored water, to marbles and pennies, Styrofoam blocks and beverage crates, plastic bags and paper cups, to all kinds of packing materials. Although Feher’s materials are quotidian and easily acquired, they are very specific, sought after, and chosen for their distinct and inimitable formal qualities. He stacks, dangles, unfolds, and aligns his materials to form sculptures of fluid lines, thoughtful rhythms and bursts of color and light that enable the viewer to observe and appreciate the beauty and poetry in the ordinary, everyday objects that surround them. The commonality of his materials and the apparent ease with which his works occupy their environment belie the rigorous nature of a practice driven by an incessant quest for moments of clarity, beauty, quietude.

Having come of age in an intellectual climate dominated by an overwhelming sense of endangerment due to the epidemic spread of AIDS, Feher, like so many artists of his generation, opted for humanism. His proud embrace of fragility, transience, and emotion, along with his preference for non-precious materials and found objects, has been highly influential for a younger generation of artists who have similarly become archivists of their own lives.

Image caption: Tony Feher, Blossom, 2009, extruded polystyrene, 4 x 8 x 2 feet, Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Jason Mandella

Tony Feher is organized by Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.

The exhibition and publication are made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, Houston Endowment Inc., ACME., Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Hiram Butler and Devin Borden, D’Amelio Terras, Jennifer and Jeff Eldredge, The Pace Gallery, Despina Papafote Caldwell and Don Ballard, Julie A. Cohn and John A. Connor, Douglas and Jennifer Bosch, Martha Claire Tompkins, Sissy and Denny Kempner, Mary and Bernard Arocha, Leslie and Brad Bucher, Hiendarsanti Darmodjo, Heidi and David Gerger, Theodore J. Lee and Marc A. Sekula, Judy and Scott Nyquist, and Kenneth and Michelle Zagorski.

Major funding for Tony Feher at deCordova has been provided by the Lois and Richard England Family Foundation. Additional funding provided by Fotene Demoulas and Thomas Coté. Support for Interpretive Programming has been provided in part by a grant from the Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund.

Special thanks to Donelan’s Supermarkets for their assistance in securing materials for this exhibition.