Special Art Installations at the Akron Art Museum
For Release: April 2014
Two new temporary installations by Tony Feher at the Akron Art Museum will extend the artist’s presence from the Karl and Bertl Arnstein Galleries into the museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby and into Downtown Akron.
By Friday, April 11, three 54-inch tall red marine buoys will hang from the cantilevers that reach out from the roof of the museum. An ambitious art work that incorporates the architecture of the masterpiece Coop Himmelb(l)au building, Buoy exemplifies how Feher brings attention to everyday objects and materials by presenting them in new ways.
In suspending the buoys upside down, Feher subverts their intended function and offers viewers an element of surprise and delight. These qualities are enhanced by the attention the buoys bring to the soaring cantilevers that define the museum’s conceptual footprint.
"Tony Feher's exhibition and projects represent the high level of community engagement that the Akron Art Museum is undertaking. This is a game changer for the museum," stated Executive Director and CEO Mark Masuoka.
“Tony Feher has created impressive site-determined works in response to distinctive architecture throughout the world, including the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. With Buoy he has envisioned a dazzling installation with a new material that at once expands his practice and brings distinction to the Akron Art Museum,” commented Chief Curator Janice Driesbach.
Feher is also transforming one of the museum’s passageways into a luminous cavern by embellishing its window wall with patterns of blue painter’s tape. Arcs of hand-torn tape mimicking European paving stone patterns fan out from astral forms defined by the milled edges of the tape. Feher describes this contrast of patterns and textures as offering “ridiculous and sublime in the same breath.” Elements of the design reference drawing and mosaics. He notes that his composition will have the effect of stained glass in the contained space of the corridor.
This Akron-specific work is titled in honor of Judith Resnik, the Akron-raised NASA astronaut who died on board the Challenger space shuttle in 1986.
Buoy and Judith Resnik were commissioned by the Akron Art Museum to complement its presentation of Tony Feher, a 25-year survey exhibition organized by Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, on view through August 17, 2014. The exhibition features more than 50 of the artist’s works and seeks to reveal the richness, complexity and impact of his investigations. The works on view feature the range of mundane materials Feher employs, from bottles filled with colored liquids to marbles, pennies and Mylar blankets. Feher surrounds himself with his materials for a long time before singling them out for their individual formal qualities. In his incessant quest for moments of clarity, beauty and quietude, the artist doesn’t so much transform as accentuate the inherent characteristics of his materials.
Tony Feher has been organized by the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
Its presentation at the Akron Art Museum is generously supported by the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis and the Ohio Arts Council. Buoy and Judith Resnik have been commissioned by the Akron Art Museum; Buoy is made possible by generous support from the Rogers Family Foundation and an anonymous donor.