On view in the museum’s Stairwell Gallery this spring are Conceptual
works by John C. Fernie and Lawrence Weiner from the BAM collection.
Fernie’s Held Rectangles Series (c. 1970) is a photo-narrative
in which the artist holds a simple rectangular wooden frame and rotates
it 360 degrees, capturing the process in a series of eight photo
screenprints. In a recent telephone conversation, Fernie recalled this
work and the period of the late 1960s and early 1970s, those “wacky
days.” He described being a “Kansas boy trying to get back to the
center of gravity, finding the absolute, searching for some constant,
some some historically reflective yet transparent orthodoxy.”
Complementing Fernie’s images, a text-based piece by Lawrence Weiner from his 1977 publication WORKS completes the installation. Weiner’s pioneering Conceptual works
challenge traditional assumptions about the nature of the art object
and modes of presentation.
John C. Fernie was born in
Hutchinson, Kansas, in 1945. He received his M.F.A. from the University
of California, Davis, in 1970, and has exhibited at Reese Palley
Gallery, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He
was one of the participating artists in the 1970 exhibition The Eighties at the Berkeley Art Museum (then University Art Museum). He currently lives in Colorado.
Weiner was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1942, and is one of the
central figures of Conceptual art. His solo exhibitions include shows
at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and the
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C. He lives and works in New York and Amsterdam.