Texas is all about the vastness of space. You have only to drive west of Fort Worth about thirty or forty minutes to get a sense of it. A place like Fort Worth is neither urban nor rural; you're in an urban environment and then you drive through rural areas to get to more urban areas, and then out west in the great plains it's very rural. A little further west, where I like to go, it's really desolate: the landscapes rises up out of the horizon and comes toward you as if it were on a conveyor belt. Out in places like Big Bend, you're in the midst of an overwhelming nature. Total solitude. Then to come back to a suburban area like Fort Worth--it can be sort of schizophrenic. I think you can see it in the work: the sublime juxtaposed with the mundane.
Vernon Fisher in an interview with Hugh M. Davies and Madeline Grynsztejn, 1989
'Come with me', Vernon Fisher's work beckons, 'suspend belief, enter a world where fact and fiction are interchangeable and artifice and reality both confuse and compel.' Fisher's illusions, created in both words and images, are those of a storyteller whose trail is always warm, but whose path is meandering and tangled. Increasingly, in the artist's new body of work, he reveals both the complex process of his thinking and the personal anxiety of its making. Like Fisher's previous work, it typically transports us on an episodic journey that confronts, among other things, the sublime and scientific, the rational and romantic. But now the work is both more staunchly real and yet ever more fragile and tenuous. Again and again with this current series of pieces, Fisher wrestles with the meaning of painting in the world of cutting edge contemporary art. Ultimately, his work simultaneously asks two key questions--Can both abstract painting and trompe l'oeil painting have value in the postmodern era? Can they truly be forms of advanced art? Fisher's art never presents answers, but it does give clues.
Sue Graze, in Gerald Peters Gallery catalogue: Vernon Fisher, September 6 - October 11, 1997
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