Vernon Fisher “Angel Face”: An Exclusive ARTSY Online Exhibition
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VERNON FISHER’s new paintings are typically enigmatic; at first they seem humorous, yet on further study they reveal deeper subtext and irony. The predominant images are from Otto Preminger’s largely forgotten 1952 film Angel Face, starring Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons. As FISHER states:
It’s not a great movie, but I was interested in its generic film noir qualities, its “atmosphere,” and the fact that it wasn’t popular enough to be available on video – therefore there would be a minimum of nostalgic misreading. The actors and the genre provide a set of expectations for my misadventures with them in the paintings.
FISHER disrupts the atmosphere evoked by the film’s imagery with the addition of text and his familiar vignettes. There is a discrepancy between how each painting looks and what the added writing says. The text mimics typewriting, with numerous handwritten notations and corrections added, and is situated on each painting like a film subtitle. This serves to confuse the reading of the image and to further distance it from the cinematic source. The viewer is also engaged by the addition of the smaller, hovering vignettes, which may suggest anything from cartoon thought balloons to desktop icons.
Vernon Fisher was born in 1943 in Fort Worth, Texas. He studied English literature at the Hardin-Simmons University, where he received a BA in 1967. Vernon got his MFA in 1969, from the University of Illinois. As a true Fort Worth child, Fisher was raised and is still living in his hometown, where he enjoys appreciation as one of the Texas’s most internationally recognized artists.
The art of Vernon Fisher is included in the collections of more than 40 museums across the globe, such as the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C., Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Phoenix Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The most important museum installation is in the collection of the famous Museum of Modern Art in New York.