In what has to be a first –– has to be –– the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is presenting a solo exhibit of a Fort Worthian’s contemporary art. K-Mart Conceptualism will gather about 35 works by Vernon Fisher, who has lived and worked in Fort Worth since 1977, and will hang from September 25 ’til Jan 2, 2011. Drawn from public and private collections across the United States, K-Mart Conceptualism will include paintings, sculptures, and installations dating from the late 1970s to today. “The show,” according to chief curator Michael Auping, “will be a revealing look at a body of work that sprang from an especially interesting moment in contemporary art history,” specifically the late 1970s and early ’80s, “when the legacies of pop art and conceptual art created a unique hybrid between painting and installation, inspiring narratives derived from juxtapositions of language and vernacular imagery.” A lot of pieces blend abstract painting, text, and photorealist (or photographic) imagery. Fisher’s faux-blackboard paintings represent an apotheosis of the style.
The show’s brand-name-infused title hints at Fisher’s interest in the front lines of consumer culture. “I have an attraction to that kind of subject matter,” he says, “and have written my share of pieces featuring Dairy Queens, grocery stores, Laundromats, third-rate hotels, etc.”