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Tony FeherThey arrived yesterday, dusty and weary from the journey, but in good spirits.
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
Above: Detail from Tony Feher at the lumber room, Portland, OR, 2014. Image: Jeremy Bittermann. Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.
Above: Detail from Tony Feher at the lumber room, Portland, OR, 2014. Image: Jeremy Bittermann. Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

October 3, 2014–December 15, 2015

Exhibition preview: October 2, 2014, 4pm
An artist talk will begin at 5pm

Utah Museum of Fine Arts 
The University of Utah
Marcia and John Price Museum Building
410 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT  84112
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–5pm,
Wednesdays 10am–8pm, Weekends, 11am–5pm

www.umfa.utah.edu/salt

Tony Feher sees the world differently. He looks at a soda bottle or a plastic fruit basket and sees color, line, shape, and texture rather than a simple container destined to be discarded. He looks for special qualities in everyday objects and then groups, stacks, orders, and arranges them in formal and poetic ways that open our eyes, calling our attention to beautiful and extraordinary things we might have overlooked otherwise. On a larger scale, Feher transforms the built environment with his acute sense of sculptural composition: in his hands, a soaring space becomes human in scale; the staid lines of a flat facade become whimsical; or a dull, static room comes to life with movement and color.

In the UMFA’s G. W. Anderson Family Great Hall, Tony Feher utilizes the formal qualities of common materials—blue painter’s tape and fluorescent pink flagging tape—to reveal a vast amount of underutilized space: the glass windows and the massive void between the walls.

From an interview with the artist, 2014:

“As I thought about the space and worked to refine a proposal, the characteristic that presented itself was the vast volume it encompasses. How do you exploit that feature to its maximum effect? Stringing a rope from side to side in this instance wasn’t sufficient. Also, the space is punctuated by various portals, doors, and windows. How to exploit these variables? It struck me to think of it upside down and to fill the upper portion of the space to reveal the true height of the room. Once this notion was established, I had a vision of how to incorporate the walls into a larger whole to make the piece not just about volume but about total immersion as well. This revealed the possibility of incorporating the portals to engage every aspect of the architecture leading into and out of the space to transform the definition of boundaries. The volume of the space, not the space itself, retains its primacy as the focal point of my intention.”

Feher’s investigation of the Great Hall’s spatial limits creates a dynamic viewing experience, shifting the typical museum gaze and inviting us to look upward and to sense our bodies moving through the large open space. Beyond the Great Hall, the installation extends through sightlines and passageways into adjacent galleries, where Feher’s color, line, and form commingle with the UMFA’s Pre-Columbian, European, American, and Contemporary collections. By highlighting the permeability of the Museum’s architectural spaces, Feher’s installation reminds us of the complex connections between art histories, cultures, and geographies.

 

Artist’s biography
Tony Feher was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1956, and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, with early stops in Florida and Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas and currently resides in New York City. Feher has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. His work can be found in the collections of many notable public institutions, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the Hammer Museum of UCLA; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

 

Tony Feher: They arrived yesterday, dusty and weary from the journey, but in good spirits.is curated by Whitney Tassie, UMFA curator of modern and contemporary art, and commissioned by the UMFA. The exhibition is sponsored by Dave and Nancy Gill, the University of Utah Department of Art and Art History, XMission, and an anonymous donor.

 

Press contact Mindy Wilson, T 801 581 7328 / [email protected].

 

Tony Feher at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts

September 30, 2014