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Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Opens Vernon Fisher: K-Mart Conceptualism

K-Mart Conceptualism is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Museum’s chief curator, Michael Auping. The exhibition will be on view from September 25, 2010 through January 2, 2011. Special exhibitions are included in general Museum admission: $10 for adults; $4 for seniors (60+) and students with identification; free for children 12 and under; free for Modern members.

Marla Price, the director of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, announces the forthcoming exhibition Vernon Fisher: K-Mart Conceptualism. The exhibition, including approximately 35 works, is a survey of paintings, sculptures, and installations spanning the late 1970s to the present, including many of the artist’s best-known works, drawn from public and private collections in the United States and Europe.

Born in 1943 at Fort Worth’s Harris Hospital, Vernon Fisher is one of Texas’s most internationally recognized artists. He has lived and worked in Fort Worth since 1977. Fisher received a BA in English literature from Hardin-Simmons University in 1967 and an MFA from the University of Illinois in 1969. Influenced by artists such as Edward Ruscha and John Baldessari, Fisher constructs visual narratives, combining images and language in a wide range of media.

“The show,” Auping comments, “will be a revealing look at a body of work that sprang from an especially interesting moment in contemporary art history in the late 1970s and early 1980s-a time when the legacies of Pop art and Conceptual art created a unique hybrid between painting and installation, inspiring narratives derived from juxtapositions of language and vernacular imagery. The subtitle of the exhibition refers to Fisher’s interest in philosophical enigmas coming out of working-class backdrops and situations.” Fisher explains, “I have an attraction to that kind of subject matter, and have written my share of pieces featuring Dairy Queens, grocery stores, Laundromats, third-rate hotels, etc”.

The exhibition will showcase the early collages that combine abstract painting, text, and image, as well as a selection of many of his best-known blackboard paintings, in which a faux blackboard surface is used as the ground for realistic, painted vignettes adjacent to fragments of different stories that suggest variously ambiguous meanings. A number of large-scale installations will also be included.
Fisher has had over 80 solo exhibitions worldwide. His work is in the permanent collections of more than 40 museums, including the Modern’s. He has received numerous awards throughout his career: the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995; the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in 1984; and the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowship in 1974-75, 1980-81, and 1981-82. In addition to his artistic accomplishments, he held the title of Regents Professor of Art Emeritus at the University of North Texas in Denton for nearly 30 years and was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association in 1992.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a book published by the University of Texas Press, with an introductory essay by Frances Colpitt, the Deedie Potter Rose Chair of Art History at Texas Christian University; foreword by Ned Rifkin, Director of the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art; and an interview with the artist by Michael Auping.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Telephone 817.738.9215
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