In the side room of Teresita Fernández's haunting show, "Borrowed Landscape," white rope ladders attached to the ceiling seem to lead to a symbolic heaven. In the main gallery, rectangular tent-like enclosures made of sheer nylon fabric are illuminated by dim green, blue and yellow lights. At once inviting and foreboding, these mysterious spaces, each surrounded on all four sides by fabric slit open only an inch or two on one of the sides, suggest rooms for pleasure into which mere mortals may not enter.
In her previous New York exhibition, Fernández created a structure that looked like an empty above-ground swimming pool painted deep blue. In both exhibitions she seems to have arrived at an individual space, or spatial expression, that has been hitherto unexplored. Neither architectural nor truly sculptural, the spaces she creates are ethereal yet altogether present.
Fernández's sensibility appears to have sprung from the Minimalist and Light and Space camps of Andre, Turrell and Irwin, yet the artist has stated that her aims are the opposite of theirs. Her approach is not reductive. She strives to create a space that acquires the potential to suggest a place or an image.
Teresita Fernández, "Borrowed Landscape," May 1-June 26, 1999, at Deitch Projects, 76 Grand, New York, N.Y. 10013.