Ronald Feldman Fine Arts

The Armory Show | Pier 94, Booth 822

The Armory Show | Pier 94, Booth 822

armory show, installation view 15 by terry fox

Terry Fox

Armory Show, Installation View 15, 2013

armory show, installation view 12 by terry fox

Terry Fox

Armory Show, Installation View 12, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013Sunday, March 10, 2013


New York, NY USA

In the works of Terry Fox, text, time, sound, objects, symbol and space are interwoven to such an extent that real space and mental space combine to create a new space. In the interaction of cognitive and sensual experience, forces are set into motion which render perceptible what is beyond comprehension. By virtue of his psychicphysical constitution, the viewer becomes the code-breaker of the world.
- Ulli Seegers, Catalogue Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany

Terry Fox, a central participant in the West Coast performance, video, and conceptual art movements, emerged in the late 1960’s and developed an American arte povera as well as a new aesthetic that combined visual form with text and audio to explore the properties of sound and space. His work is characterized by invented systems and recurring motifs related to personal experiences of deprivation, illness, transcendence and peace.

Cones of Silence (2000), two glazed ceramic cones with non-reflective inside surfaces, are Fox’s attempt to create “silence bearing” objects. The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Different Cats (1977) is a rarely exhibited sound work composed of overlayed cats’ purrs which correspond to the 552 steps and 11 rings of the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth. In 1977, Fox discovered a method to cause piano wire to vibrate longitudinally, an important component of his sound installations, particularly Internal Sound (1982). Möbius Strip (2007) applies an excerpt from Raymond Roussel’s New Impressions of Africa from 1932 to the Mobius model which describes infinity; the work is an exploration of the bond between the material world and the world of eternal ideas.

With an economy of means, Fox explores the interrelationship of the senses and the concept of synesthesia. Inspired by Rimbaud’s well-known poem which assigned colors to vowels, Vowels (2002), is a hanging installation composed of cloth and spices that creates a synthesis of fragrances and hues to evoke the subjective correspondences of memories and associations.

Fox is also well known for his drawings based in literature. With various devices, he dismantles the conventional appearance of language and meaning. Lever (2002) extends the line from a poem by Arthur Rimbaud, “I TURNED SILENCES AND NIGHTS INTO WORDS I MADE THE WHIRLING WORLD STAND STILL”, into a twenty-nine-foot, vertical row of red lettered cards. An example of Fox’s fondness for word games is the drawing Enigma (2005). Forced to experience the text in order to understand it, the viewer completes the intention of the work, adding what the artist identifies “as its mental dimension.”

Born in 1943, Fox studied at the Cornish School of Allied Arts in Seattle and the Accademia di Belli Arti in Rome. He worked in New York, Düsseldorf, and San Francisco and showed at Documentas 5 and 6, Kassel, Germany, the 1975 Whitney Biennial, and the 1984 Venice Biennale. Publications in conjunction with solo exhibitions include: {Re/De} Constructions &c., Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, 2003; 30 Years of Speaking and Writing about Art, Gesellschaft fur Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, 2000; Fox: Ataraxia -Works with Sound, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, 1998; and Articulations, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, 1992.

Works are in major public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University Art Museum, Berkeley; Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Museum of Modern Art, Buenos Aires; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne.