austin-tx

Teresita Fernández

Blanton Museum of Art

Teresita Fernández’s Vertigo (sotto in su), 2007, appears to be an artwork made from clouds. Precision-cut aluminum sheets hang in a stack from the ceiling, their biomorphic forms splintering reflected light and casting a cascade of overlapping shadows across the nearby walls; seen from across the gallery, the sculpture seems to dissolve in the surrounding space. But after moving directly beneath the piece and looking up, the viewer finds his or her own reflection staring down—the image is distorted: telescoped, fractured, and surrounded by the warm wood floor. (Sotto in su is a Renaissance foreshortening technique for painting figures on high ceilings.) Tracing relationships between the natural and the human, between landscapes that are found and those that are made, is at the heart of Fernández’s sculptural projects.

In nature, “all mean egotism vanishes,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “I

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