Quick: Louise Fishman at Cheim & Read


Has Louise Fishman been lifting weights? These new paintings of hers at Cheim & Read are the most muscular I’ve seen. Fishman’s paintings are hard to love at first. They’re big and messy, and her colors tend toward the browns and grays. But spend some time with them, and you acquiesce to their power. What this second-generation abstracton expressionist does with paint, with gesture, is to assume control of the surface and the space around it and then draw you in. By the time you get up close, you're head over heels. These painting offer not just brawn but passages of sublime beauty.

I’m late with this report. The show is up only until tomorrow. If you’re in New York and haven’t seen it, hustle on over to 25th Street. If you can’t, click onto the gallery website for some great installation shots.

Here are a few I shot myself—along with with some ravishing details that are just under actual size. And by the way, Fishman is 70. An age stereotype shattered.

COncealing and Revealing, 2008, oil on linen, 87.75 x 70 inches
Below: Three details

. . . . .
All Night and All Day, 2008, oil on canvas, 66 x 57 inches
Below: Three details



tony said...

Joanne, the close-ups were a magical addition. From images of the whole one can sense the power and mastery but the detail shows the deep understanding.

Joanne Mattera said...

Well put, Tony. Thanks for this feedback.

tony said...

Just a thought of no consequence for a Saturday morning - when I first responded to this post I used the word 'mastery'in referring to Louise Fishman & it now seems such a clumsy word, suggesting both dominance & subservience of the material to the 'will'. In this respect the French word 'maîtrise (f.) has the feel of being closer to reality in that the sound, being softer and less abrupt, intimates mutual compliance & complicity between the painter and the medium. As I said a thought of no consequence so my apologies.

Stephanie Clayton said...

I've always had an appreciation for this- how does one describe it- this style of painting.
At a distance it appears quite raw and unrefined, the eye blending those strokes and swipes into muddy neutrals. Up close one finds many surprises. There's something in the movement and immediacy of application that draws one nearer.

Her work reminds me of Gerhard Richter's.

And I love that she is 70. That alone inspires me.

Sky Pape said...

Sorry to have missed this show. Those detail shots are luscious.

I feel fortunate to know (and have known)a few women making work of the highest order, and just getting better and better at age 70-plus. Just the other week, I went to an opening for Elizabeth Catlett, which coincided with her 94th birthday. She is still making sculptures of astonishing beauty from marble, wood, and bronze!

These people are superb role models & inspirations for the goal of sustaining a challenging and gratifying lifelong career making art.

lisa said...

She is a gutsy painter. Thanks for the photos.