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Teresita Fernandez
Rise and Fall #8

2017

$50,000

About

The works in "Rise and Fall" expand upon the premise of conflating materiality and representation by using raw graphite and pencil to create luminous landscape scenes. The mountainous horizon separating water and sky evokes island geography. Graphite has been a fundamental element of Fernández’s practice throughout the years- Her extensive research lead her to the graphite mine of Borrowdale, England, where the material was first discovered and mined in the 1500’s. It was this raw, subterranean graphite that would eventually be used to make pencils used for drawing. It was this connection that crystallized her concept to create a drawing that is a multi-dimensional material, physical place, and drawn image. The landscapes in this series appear dipped in a metallic liquid, an effect of the unadulterated graphite used by Fernández. This is reminiscent of artist Robert Smithson’s Pour works that Fernández frequently references in her body of work. In his Pour works, Smithson used viscous materials like glue or concrete to cascade over a landscape, treating the earth itself as a canvas. Rise and Fall can thus be understood within this art historical context as both landscape painting and land art, an amplification of the term “landscape”. This series also reflects the artist’s recent time spent in Japan and greater China, which reinvigorated her interest in traditional landscape drawings and the various manifestations of graphite in disparate cultures. One specific cultural influence from the artist’s travels is Japanese “Shou Sugi Ban,” which is a traditional Japanese burnt wood treatment. This practice is something that the local culture has conducted for weather proofing purposes since the 1700s and perhaps earlier. The charring process brings out the grain of the wood, giving the exterior a finish evocative of a 3-D drawing. These incredible structures inspired Fernández to revisit the relationship between drawing, material source, and landscape.

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