“Landscape is more about what you don’t see than what you do see.”
Apparition (Golden) is an imagined scene that unravels landscape, history, place and the fluctuation of power that surrounds natural resources. Using gold and charcoal (which is made from burned trees), the artwork emphasizes the stacked connections between places, people, and materials and reveals the loaded, often omitted connections to colonization and the violence embedded in the landscape. The choice of materials deliberately references the greed that ignited the California gold rush as well as the ongoing devastation caused by wildfires throughout the region.
In Apparition (Golden), Fernández also summons aspects of what has been rendered invisible in the landscape, hiding in plain sight. She imagines the ghostly remains of Lake Lagunita, (just outside the window), which was an irrigation lake built in the 19th century before ongoing droughts dried up its waters.
The golden, shimmering surface of the artwork challenges conventional ideas of the figure in the landscape and prompts each viewer to linger, and locate themselves as their gaze is returned and distorted within the constructed landscape. Apparition (Golden) asks viewers to consider their own role in the eroded physical and psychological spaces produced by centuries of extraction. Imbuing the landscape with an anthropomorphic sensibility, Fernández has said “You look at the landscape, but the landscape also looks back at you.”
About the artist
Teresita Fernández b. 1968, Miami, Florida, United States
Teresita Fernández’s work is characterized by an interest in self-reflection and conceptual wayfinding. Her immersive, monumental works are inspired by a rethinking of landscape and place, as well as by diverse historical and cultural references. Often drawing inspiration from the natural world, Fernández’s practice unravels the intimacies between matter, places, and human beings. Her luminous works poetically challenge ideas about landscape by exposing the history of colonization and the inherent violence embedded in how we imagine and define locations. Her work questions power, visibility, and erasure in ways that prompt reflective engagement for individual viewers.
Fernández is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards including a Creative Capital Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Artist's Grant, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Appointed by President Obama, she is the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, a 100-year-old federal panel that advises the president and Congress on national matters of design and aesthetics.
Fernández’s works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Smithsonian Museum of American Art; MASS MoCA; and Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy, among others.
She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.