Year created:
Image © Andy Ryan

Tony Feher. The Nothing Before Something. 2013. Pole and paint. 

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pole and paint
Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Exhibit Date: 
On View May 23, 2013 - Apr 01, 2014

No longer on view.

Tony Feher subtly manipulates commonplace materials to create moments of stunning beauty. His work consists of simple, often colorful gestures that ask viewers to stop and consider, or reconsider, an object for its most formal qualities. Feher’s The Nothing Before Something is an example of the artist’s playful brand of sculptural intervention, turning a utility pole into a monument to color and dazzle.

The Nothing Before Something is a wooden, forty-five foot utility pole painted DayGlo pink. Set against the subtle seasonal variations of the Sculpture Park, Feher’s sculpture glows with an almost electric hum. This visual dissonance, between the organic green of the Park and the chemical glow of The Nothing Before Something, highlights the irony and comical artificiality of the gleaming pink pole. Replanted amidst a grove of pines at deCordova, the soaring, tapering timber’s origin as a tree is made evident, subtly questioning the stark juxtaposition between the natural and unnatural.   

Painted an arresting fluorescent, the sculpture seems to radiate energy as it glows in response to long-wave ultraviolet sunlight. The sculpture’s title, The Nothing Before Something, alludes to “The Singularity”, the nanosecond immediately preceding the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe. Invoking this moment of both emptiness and infinite potential, Feher asks viewers to think about creation—artistic, scientific and otherwise.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1956, Feher received a BA from the University of Texas in 1978 and currently resides in New York City. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. His work can be found in numerous collections, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; La Coléccion Jumex, Mexico City; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the Des Moines Art Center; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. 

More information about Tony Feher, on view May 24-Sep 15, 2013 can be found at:

Image © Andy Ryan.