Sketch for a Monument: Adrián Fernández
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 17, 6 – 8PM
Artist will be present
Thomas Nickles Project is pleased to announce the first solo show with the gallery of Adrián Fernández, Sketch for a Monument, bringing together sculptures and photography from three different series: Pending Memories, Monument to the Incomplete Man and the eponymous Sketch for a Monument, focusing on aging industrial fantasy monuments of a future long since past, that constitute much of Fernández’s latest work. Featuring a combination of variously sized pieces, photography and sculptures are interconnected through the gallery, where a photographic mural serves as a link between both expressions; and it is in exploring the ways in which these bodies of works are interrelated from their very conception, that Fernández's distinct practice deploys an array of degrees of abstraction – formal and symbolic – to negotiate the relationship between fiction, architecture, landscape, permanence and ideology.
On the “construction” of the imaginary of these series, curator of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Malcolm Daniel, outlines:
Inspired by industrial ruins, unfinished construction projects and propaganda billboards, and above all, the giant illuminated Christmas decorations in the town of Remedios, Fernández worked with structural engineers, architects, and computer specialists to construct—digitally—the beams and bolts and stairs and struts that would be required to actually build them. Every girder, cable, and rivet has been built only in the artist’s computer, an architect’s virtual rendering of something that could be built but never was. And then—in a move that no architect would show a client—Fernández asked his software to artificially age the materials, to show how the metal, wood, and concrete would decay over time.
Adrian Fernandez's voice and his work can only be fully understood at the crossroads between his passion, photography, his family legacy, being the son of two architects, and his training as a sculptor. It is at the intersection of these three disciplines where we can site these works with influences such as the architects Marcel Breuer, Paul Rudolph, Louis Khan and Peter Zumthor along with the sculptors Martin Puryear, Mark Di Suvero and Anthony Gormley and photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher. Sketch for a Monument showcases fictions of other landscapes of which only the skeletal structures remain, left to the mercy of the elements and oblivion. As the writer Iván de la Nuez stated about Fernández's work: “There is a fierce struggle here against the ideological animism of those totalitarian societies, fascinated by their statues. There is a plan here…To Havana’s Malecon or to any desert in the world. These are all places that require the burdensome job of building monuments precisely in times dedicated to tearing them down.”
Sketch for a Monument is, in fact, a monument,to a country that never happened, to a man never realized, and to a history that exists more as a sediment of the past than history itself. It grows dusty in the mind; yet it persists.
In truth, it is all a fiction.
Malcolm Daniel, 2021