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Stacked Waters

21st century
609.6 cm x 2019.3 cm x 1424.9 cm (240 in. x 795 in. x 561 in.)

Teresita Fernández (Miami, Florida, 1968 - ) Primary

Object Type: installation
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Cast acrylic
Credit Line: Commissioned by the Blanton Museum of Art through the generosity of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2008
Accession Number: 2008.159

Stacked Waters is a site-specific installation created for the cavernous entrance space of the Blanton Museum of Art. The work consists of 3,100 square feet of custom-cast acrylic that covers the walls in a striped pattern. The horizontal, saturated blue bands gradually shift in color as they move up, creating a colored abstraction that fades from deep blue to white at the top. The title is a reference to Donald Judd’s stack pieces as well as to his presence in Texas. While pointing directly to illusion rather than negating it, Stacked Waters is a nod to Judd’s exploration of the interior of the box. The space suggests a container of colored light and places the viewer on the inside. Flooded with natural light from immense skylights overhead, the reflective, watery quality of the acrylic’s surface functions like a blue mirror. Viewers see vaporous, reflections of themselves, the space and others in the surface, turning the work into a kind of projection marking the real-time activity of the museum. The reflections also become a changing portrait of the Texas light, appearing somber and shadowy when overcast or at the end of the day, and drenched in saturated blue color and glare on bright days. The work integrates the existing complex of arches and stairs into an image: that of a deep volume of water. The physical space is blurred by becoming an illusion that shifts with the movements of museum-goers. As one moves up the stairs, the horizontal lines that mark the pool’s depth shift in relation to one’s body, until, at the top of the fifty steps, the viewer “emerges” from the blue area into the galleries.

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