Vernon Fisher: K-Mart Conceptualism is a survey of the artist’s entire career to date, incorporating paintings, sculptures, and installations from the late 1970s to the present, from both public and private collections in the United States and Europe.
Fisher has lived and worked in Fort Worth since 1977, and is one of Texas’s most internationally recognized artists. The exhibition is organized by Michael Auping, the Museum’s chief curator. “The show,” Auping comments, “will be a revealing look at a body of work that represents 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 comments, “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; and a selection of many of the artist’s 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, room-sized installations will also be included.