Vernon Fisher: Distant Voices In a Foreign Language

Exhibition Dates: May 7 – June 18, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 7 from 5–9 pm in conjunction with Jammin’ on Julia, presented by ADNO, sponsored by the DDD
Gallery Location: 434 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present Distant Voices in a Foreign Language, an exhibition of paintings by Vernon Fisher. The exhibition will be on view at Arthur Roger@434, located at 434 Julia Street, from May 7 – June 18, 2016. The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist in attendance, on Saturday, May 7 from 5-9 pm in conjunction with Jammin’ on Julia, presented by ADNO, sponsored by the DDD.

Stockton, 2010 | Oil and acrylic on panel with trestlework cradle | 74 ¼ x 80 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches

Stockton, 2010 | Oil and acrylic on panel with trestlework cradle | 74 ¼ x 80 ¼ x 4 ¼ inches

Distant Voices in a Foreign Language is Vernon Fisher’s first exhibition with the gallery and features multiple bodies of work from the past decade. Patricia Mora describes the artist’s work as “rigorous, yet thoroughly fun-infused, excursions that are analogous to solving for ‘x.’”

The artist’s blackboard series began in 1980 and is his best-known body of work. The faux-chalk drawings have an ephemeral quality stemming from our childhood experience of the vulnerability of chalk on blackboards. Mathematical equations, text fragments, constellations are all “speculative notations in a state of revision.” The photo-based landscapes feature hazy black and white backdrop images – often benign, suburban views – speckled with floating pixelated icons, pop media gathered from newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks, postcards and snapshots. Sluggo, Frankenstein, Mickey Mouse, Goofy – all culled from the artist’s childhood – are observed as isolated icons before their meaning in the context of the painting becomes apparent, if at all. Juvenile juxtaposed with solemn.

Despite visual cues to the contrary, all of the medium-scale, meticulously-painted works in the exhibition are oil and/or acrylic on canvas, with the exception of two works with cast and enameled polyurethane punctuation. Most of the works hang in Arthur Roger@434, while others are interspersed throughout the center and back galleries with the work of fellow artist and friend, James Drake.

Vernon Fisher was born in Texas in 1943. He received his MFA at the University of Illinois in 1969. He is the recipient of numerous accolades including three National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowships and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. In 2010, The University of Texas Press published a monograph, Vernon Fisher, in tandem with Vernon Fisher: K-Mart Conceptualism, the artist’s career retrospective at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. He has been included in two Whitney Biennials (most recently in 2000) and his work is in several public collections including, Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX); Museum of Modern Art (NY); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (NY); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. The artist lives and works in Fort Worth, TX.