Precious stone: Teresita Fernandez wields the power of malachite for new series

Teresita Fernandez Malachite sculpture
Teresita Fernandez was inspired by the Viñales Valley in Cuba and the variations found in malachite for a new body of work, now on show at Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea gallery in New York. Pictured: ’Viñales (Aerial)’, 2015 glazed ceramic
(Image credit: TBC)

Teresita Fernandez has had a big year. From her monumental, canopy-like installation Fata Morgana, composed of mirror-polished metal discs, which drew a record number of daily admirers to New York’s Madison Square Park over the summer, to the thoughtful installation Double Glass River which currently resides at Grace Farms (opens in new tab), the MacArthur ‘genius award’ winning artist has become a formidable force in the art world.

This week, Lehmann Maupin’s New York gallery celebrates Fernández’s latest sculptural works, a series of veritable ‘intimate interior landscapes’ in concrete, cast bronze, malachite, and glazed ceramic.

For this riveting body of work, Fernández (who served on President Obama’s U.S. Commission of Fine Arts) turned to the Viñales Valley, an iconic and surreal landscape with extensive caves in rural Cuba, for both inspiration and palette in exploring scale. Rather than turn to marble or materials sourced from the streets, Fernández first plucked up emerald green chunks of malachite. Her mixed-media sculpture Viñales (Reclining Nude) is composed of concrete sculptural bases topped by the glimmering mineral.  

'I was fascinated by the saturated rich greens and turquoise colours in malachite and the way the natural clustered formations resembled aerial views of lush landscapes; how something on a small scale such as that mineral sample could suggest the vastness of places, maps, regions, and rainforests all seen from above,’ Fernández notes from her Boerum Hill studio.

Malachite’s quixotic quality with flecks of silver is also reflected in a set of ceramic panels measuring twelve feet in length. Sparkling in various shades of green, blue, black and tobacco brown, the panels, made of some 1,000 minute tiles, are all-encompassing in nature. 

Teresita Fernandez mixed media on wood panel

Fernández, who served on President Obama’s U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, turned to the Viñales Valley, an iconic and surreal landscape with extensive caves in rural Cuba, as inspiration for its palette and exploring scale. Pictured: ’Viñales (Cervix)’, 2015, mixed media on wood panel

(Image credit: TBC)

Teresita Fernandez Malachite display

Her mixed-media sculpture ’Viñales (Reclining Nude)’ (pictured) is composed of concrete sculptural bases topped by glimmering malachite

(Image credit: TBC)

Teresita Fernandez Malachite sculptures

'I was fascinated by the saturated rich greens and turquoise colors in malachite and the way the natural clustered formations resembled aerial views of lush landscapes; how something on a small scale such as that mineral sample could suggest the vastness of places, maps, regions, and rainforests all seen from above,’ Fernández notes

(Image credit: TBC)

Teresita Fernandez Malachite exhibition

The sculptural works come together like a series of veritable ‘intimate interior landscapes’, made from concrete, cast bronze, malachite, and glazed ceramic

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

‘Teresita Fernández’ will be on view until 2 January 2016

ADDRESS

Lehmann Maupin
536 W 22nd Street
New York

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