Public Art Fund Talks: Teresita Fernández and Cecilia Vicuña

Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:30 - 8pm

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Carmen Herrera. "Maquettes" Courtesy Lisson Gallery, Photo: Liz Ligon, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Carmen Herrera. "Maquettes" Courtesy Lisson Gallery, Photo: Liz Ligon, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

To mark the closing of "Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales," Public Art Fund has invited artists Teresita Fernández and Cecilia Vicuña for a free, public conversation reflecting on Herrera’s career through their own lives and celebrated art practices.

Reservations are required.

Sharing a Cuban-American heritage with Herrera, Fernández is a conceptual artist well-known for her monumental – and often immersive – public projects. Her works feature abstracted, sculptural forms that amplify ideas about nature and landscape to reveal more subtle historic, cultural, and socio-political narratives tied to place.  Vicuña’s art and life have been shaped by exile from her native Chile and the unrest experienced there. Her work powerfully responds to the most pressing issues of our era with a poetic ephemerality that is underpinned by diverse political, ecological, and religious concerns. Distinct in their approaches, the practices of both artists interweave experimentation of form, scale, and materials with incisive narratives about culture, history, and power dynamics. This cross-generational dialogue will be moderated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.

Estructuras Monumentales is the first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures by New York-based artist Carmen Herrera (b. 1915, Havana, Cuba) and is on view July 11 – November 8 at City Hall Park. The artist has created vibrant, abstract paintings for more than 70 years, but has only recently received well-deserved art historical recognition. Informed by her architectural training, Herrera began her Estructuras series in the 1960s with a group of diagrammatic sketches. She envisioned large-scale monochromatic sculptures that would extend the experience of her luminous paintings into three dimensions. Until recently, these historic proposals have remained unrealized. With Estructuras Monumentales, this remarkable artist is now able to share her powerful structures with public audiences for the first time.

Teresita Fernández is a conceptual artist best known for her monumental, public projects that expand on notions of landscape and place. Based in New York, her work, often inspired by natural phenomena—meteor showers, fire, and the night sky—invites experiential engagement with the work and the space it occupies.

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist and activist. She lives and works in New York and Santiago, and integrates practices of performance, Conceptualism, and textile in response to pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union.

Public Art Fund Talks are made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.