Vernon Fisher’s bold and innovative multimedia work displays the openness, multiplicity, and decentralization that distinguishes postmodernism. Incorporating photography, painting, sculptural elements, found objects, and written language, Fisher’s art contributed to the overthrow of monolithic modernism in the late 1970s and early 1980s and won him enduring acclaim nationally and internationally. Swept into the spotlight before he was forty, Fisher has since had over eighty one-person exhibitions, including installations at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. His work is now in the permanent collection of more than forty art museums. This volume is the first monograph on Vernon Fisher’s work since 1989, and it presents the most comprehensive survey of his art from the early 1970s until 2009, with an emphasis on his mature work. It reproduces twenty suites of Fisher’s work, including Hills Like White Elephants, Parallel Lines, Lost for Words, Brainiac, Movements Among the Dead, and Swimming Lesions. In her introduction, Frances Colpitt deftly situates Fisher’s work in the context of postmodernism’s radical transformation of art, tracing his affinities with artists such as Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. She also decodes recurring symbols and literary references in Fisher’s art, showing how this “writerly” artist constructs narratives with multiple meanings and cultural allusions that defy reduction to a single storyline or definite ending. In an interview with Michael Auping, Fisher describes his creative process, especially how he uses “apparently random and disordered notations” to suggest the “tentative and fluid quality of the mind at work.” Acknowledging that his art never reaches a conclusion, Fisher says, “I love the loopy and disconnected . . . for me, the disjunctive and inconclusive is what feels honest and real.”
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abstract Acrylic and oil Acrylic on canvas Acrylic on laminated Acrylic on wall American Art American Tragedy Arizona Art Center Artforum ARTnews Artweek Austin Barry Whistler Gallery blackboard paintings blackboard slating Borden Hiram Butler Brown Contemporary California cartoon cast polyurethane chalk Charles Cowles Gallery Chicago Consuelo Tattoo Contemporary Art Contemporary Arts Museum Dallas Museum Dave Hickey dead Delahunty Gallery depicted Dunn and Brown enamel on cast erased Fort Worth Heart of Darkness Hills Like White Hiram Butler Gallery Hirshhorn Museum Houston Illinois imagery images Kmart laminated paper Landfall Press Mark Moore Mark Moore Gallery Mickey Mouse Milwaukee Art Museum Modern Art Museum Museum of Art Museum of Contemporary Museum of Modern Nancy narrative Numbered Oil and acrylic Oil and blackboard oil on canvas photograph Private Collection Rauschenberg Robert Rauschenberg San Antonio Santa Monica slating on wood story tion University of Texas Vernon Fisher vignettes White Elephants Worth York