“We are grateful to the Ford Foundation for this generous and substantial gift,” said Amada Cruz, the Sybil Harrington Director and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum, who will co-curate the grant-supported retrospective with Franklin Sirmans, the Director of Pérez Art Museum Miami; Gilbert Vicario, the Selig Family Chief Curator of Phoenix Art Museum; and María Elena Ortiz, Assistant Curator of Pérez Art Museum Miami. “The funds will enable the Museum to present a wide selection of evocative installations, sculptures, and mixed-media works by Teresita Fernández, considered one of the most innovative artists of her generation, and strengthen our efforts to continue diversifying our exhibition schedule.”
The Ford Foundation grant provides major support for Teresita Fernández: Elemental, the first collaboration between Phoenix Art Museum and Pérez Art Museum Miami and the first major retrospective on the work of the 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, renowned for her experiential sculptures and prominent public installations that have appeared in such spaces as Harvard College, Madison Square Park, and Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle. Spanning the mid-1990s to the present, the mid-career survey offers Arizona audiences the opportunity to experience the artist’s large-scale sculptures, installations, and mixed-media wall works that merge formal and conceptual aspects of her practice through the use of natural materials and the historic genre of landscape to reinterpret relationships between nature, history, and identity.
Premiering at Pérez Art Museum Miami from October 17 through February 16, 2020 before it is presented at Phoenix Art Museum from March 21 through May 24, 2020 (dates subject to change), the exhibition, which is also made possible through the generosity of The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, aligns with the Museum’s ongoing commitment to increase diversity among its exhibitions, education programs, collections, and staff to better reflect and engage its surrounding community. Since 2018, Teresita Fernández: Elemental will be the sixth major exhibition at Phoenix Art Museum dedicated to the work of a woman artist, the fifth to focus on a living woman artist, and the second to survey the work of a woman artist of color.