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Public Art Fund Talks: Teresita Fernández and Cecilia Vicuña

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Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

41 Cooper Square, 41 Cooper Sq

New York, NY 10008

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A Conversation Between Teresita Fernández and Cecilia Vicuña on the Occasion of Carmen Herrera’s Estructuras Monumentales

To mark the closing of Carmen Herrera: Estructuras Monumentales, Public Art Fund has invited artists Teresita Fernández and Cecilia Vicuña for a conversation reflecting on Herrera’s career through their own lives and celebrated art practices. Sharing a Cuban-American heritage with Herrera, Fernández is a conceptual artist well-known for her monumental – and often immersive – public projects. Her works feature abstracted, sculptural forms that amplify ideas about nature and landscape to reveal more subtle historic, cultural, and socio-political narratives tied to place. Vicuña’s art and life have been shaped by exile from her native Chile and the unrest experienced there. Her work powerfully responds to the most pressing issues of our era with a poetic ephemerality that is underpinned by diverse political, ecological, and religious concerns. Distinct in their approaches, the practices of both artists interweave experimentation of form, scale, and materials with incisive narratives about culture, history, and power dynamics. This cross-generational dialogue will be moderated by Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer.

Estructuras Monumentales is the first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures by New York-based artist Carmen Herrera (b. 1915, Havana, Cuba) and is on view July 11 - November 7 at City Hall Parl. The artist has created vibrant, abstract paintings for more than 70 years, but has only recently received well-deserved art historical recognition. Informed by her architectural training, Herrera began her Estructuras series in the 1960s with a group of diagrammatic sketches. She envisioned large-scale monochromatic sculptures that would extend the experience of her luminous paintings into three dimensions. Until recently, these historic proposals have remained unrealized. With Estructuras Monumentales, this remarkable artist is now able to share her powerful structures with public audiences for the first time.

Teresita Fernández is a conceptual artist based in New York best known for her monumental, public projects that expand on notions of landscape and place. Her work, often inspired by natural phenomena—meteor showers, fire, and the night sky—invites experiential engagement with the work and the space it occupies.

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist and activist. She lives and works in New York and Santiago, and integrates practices of performance, Conceptualism, and textile in response to pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization.

About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union

Public Art Fund Talks are made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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Cooper Union, The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

41 Cooper Square, 41 Cooper Sq

New York, NY 10008

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