José Gabriel Fernández was born in Caracas, Venezuala in 1957. He spent part of his childhood in Florence, Italy, and went on to study Fine Art at Middlesex Polytechnic and The Slade School of Fine Art, London. Fernández moved to New York City in the late 1980s, where he continued his studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program.Read More
It was in New York in the early 1990s that Fernández's sculptural practice began to utilise abstracted forms. Typically white, his sculptures use organic lines and scale, employing a variety of materials including plywood, resin and fiberglass-reinforced gypsum. Inspired by the history of Modernism in Latin America, Fernández's works play with concepts of neutrality and space with the aim of constructing differing spatial relationships between the works of art and the viewer.
In his earliest works, the series 'Erotes' and 'Lingam', Fernández explored theories of gender, utilising forms that echoed the human body. These sculptures are a reinterpretation of archetypal expressions of eroticism and desire in the Avant-Garde movements of the twentieth century. The works also reference earlier moments from art history, for example, visual perspective in Italian Renaissance architecture, inspired by his childhood in Florence, as well as ancient architectural motifs such as Caryatids.
Fernandez has exhibited internationally in both North and South America as well as Europe, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York, the Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. His work has been featured in major surveys of Latin American Contemporary Art and is represented in major private and public collections.
Text courtesy Huxley-Parlour.