Tony Feher's sculptural language is one of simplicity and understatement. In each of his 12 recent works on view he provocatively arranges simple objects that are routinely taken for granted or forgotten, like plastic milk crates, empty glass bottles and coins. With tongue-in-cheek humor, these subtle installations of ordered junk offer a sign of hope that one day the chaos in our lives may be relieved.
A number of works reminded me of my childhood, like a floor piece made with randomly blinking green light bulbs, emblematic of a suburban lawn, and a work made of stacked, bright red plastic Lego-like bricks that recalls a high patio wall. Circular arrangements of nickels, dimes and marbles hint at juvenile amusements. However, in another work, pennies lined up on a narrow shelf alongside an empty glass jar that once contained Goya hot peppers, suggest a private allegory laced with anxiety. Suddenly, Feher's works seem personal and emotional.
While leaving the gallery I glanced down to the ground with a sigh of resignation only to discover two bottle caps placed along the wall a few inches apart. They stared up at me in amazement like two piercing blue eyes, cautious, yet curiously sympathetic and caring. Feher's work magically lends a poetic sense to all the absurd and annoying things that usually clutter our lives.
Tony Feher, Nov. 13-Dec. 23, 1999, at D'Amelio Terras, 525 West 22nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10011.