Barely Visible Portraits: Part 1

Paintings, Projects

Under the Microscope (series) 1970

Under the Microscope (series) 1970
Colorered Ink on Canvas
36 x 36 inches

How It Began

In 1968, Fekner enters the undergraduate Fine Arts program at New York Institute of Technology. He studies with a number of artists who are associated with 55 Mercer co-opt that opens in 1969. Fekner becomes an assistant to Martin Bressler, a teacher and artist who has a studio on the Bowery.

Fekner is attracted to the raw loft spaces and cast-iron architecture of Soho, as well as the rebellious work of the artists involved with 112 Green Street, which has a significant impact on his subsequent move to outdoor work.

The techniques of Georges Seurat also make an impression on Fekner during his developmental stage as a student. He begins moving away from traditional painting techniques to working with ink; creating tiny, minimal repetitious opened circles on white canvasses. While studying with artist Miriam Brumer at NYIT, Fekner witnesses an entirely different world seen through a lens of a microscope. This leads to his first series of drawings on large canvas: a body of work that both reference and evolve from his microscopic observations.

In his Barely Visible Portraits series (72-76), Fekner raises questions about the banal subject matter of the Pop artists and the superficial detailed content of the Photo Realists working at the time. Fekner invites his viewers to sharpen their own individual perceptions by making the image difficult to perceive; as opposed to being bombarded by an overload of slick depictions of our consumer-driven society filled with meaningless desires and unnecessary products

Musicians (Series) 1971
Musicians (Series) 1971
40 x 40 inches
ink on canvas

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Barely Visible Portraits: Part 2
Barely Visible Portraits: Part 3

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