Waiting for the Barbarians
Talley Dunn Gallery
July 31 – September 18, 2021
Talley Dunn Gallery is honored to present the most recent exhibition of works by acclaimed painter Vernon Fisher, Waiting for the Barbarians. Comprised of paintings and mixed media works, ranging from those that feature the artist’s signature cerebral compositions of uncanny imagery and text to one with unconventional sculptural elements, this exhibition represents a sharp-witted reflection on the past thirty years of the artist’s practice from the early nineties into the present day. Fisher’s works are demonstrations of quintessential postmodern experimentation, appropriating and collapsing visual vocabulary from a discordance of sources.
Fisher’s use of varied source material is mirrored in his utilization of different media and painterly techniques as evident in this selection of works. Throughout his practice, the artist has probed at new methods with which he could build layers of ironic indirection. Heterogeneous in approach, yet singular and resoundingly clear in vision, Fisher’s distinct voice is unequivocally present in this exhibition. These paintings invite the viewers into complex matrixes of imagery, teasing at narrative cohesion but ultimately inciting chaos. The juxtaposition of inexplicable but seemingly related elements, referencing a multitude of cultural artifacts from literature to film noir to scientific notations, is a keystone feature of Fisher’s art across media. Vernon Fisher’s paintings materialize humankind’s relentless and yet always unsuccessful striving to make sense of our increasingly complicated world.
Vernon Fisher was born in Fort Worth, Texas where he continues to live and work. He received a BA in English literature from Hardin-Simmons University in 1967 and an MFA from the University of Illinois in 1969. Fisher has exhibited in venues such as the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The artist’s works are included in the collections of more than 40 museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Phoenix Art Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Fisher has received many prestigious awards and fellowships, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995; the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowship in 1974, 1980, and 1981. He held the title of Regents Professor of Art Emeritus at the University of North Texas in Denton for nearly 30 years.