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.