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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

© Vernon Fisher
American, born 1943
Movements among the Dead
Oil, blackboard, and chalk

83 x 92¼ x 9¼ inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of the Barrett Collection, Dallas, Texas

Arts of North America

Vernon Fisher is the most prominent artist to bring a Postmodernist sensibility to Texas art. He explores narrative forms using images and text with a remarkable sense of poetry and an endless appetite for formal experimentation. Movements among the Dead is from a series of blackboard paintings that combine found and trompe l'oeil (fool-the-eye) imagery. Fisher is drawn to the blackboard, a familiar classroom tool, because of its ability to both record and erase quick notations and doodles. For Fisher, the blackboard represents the instability of meaning; it functions as a repository for conflicting and overlapping memories, emotions, and recollections. Fisher visualizes these thought processes by replicating the chalky erasure residue.