Louise Fishman, Afloat in Mystic Blue, 2012, 51 x 30 inches, oil on jute
Louise Fishman, Afloat in Mystic Blue, detail
It is a much deserved big month for Louise Fishman, with a magnificent 50 year retrospective at the Tilton Gallery (although it should be a more inclusive museum show), and this knock-out exhibition of recent paintings at Cheim & Read (through October 27, 2012). The new work, which grew in part out of a recent residency in Venice, presents a focused palette of blues and greens and pinks, ostensibly inspired by her strolls around the waterways taking photographs and soaking up the history. But there is nothing soft and nostalgic in these paintings. Each work presents the evidence of a direct physical encounter between the artist and her medium, with Fishman's trademark rawness ever present. Great swaths of oil paint are slathered on, scraped off and pushed around to create undulating webs of blunt gestures that feel both haphazard and exactly right. As with much of Louise's work in recent years, the color white is the unifying force here -- both applied white and the white of untouched primer -- infusing the space with a shimmering translucence that breathes and flows. And although there is no shortage of angst and agitation in this exhibition, there is a distinct note of reverie as well.
Louise Fishman, Zero at the Bone, 2010, 70 x 60 inches, oil on linen
Louise Fishman, Zero at the Bone, detail
Louise Fishman, Assunta, 2010, 70 x 60 inches, oil on linen
Louise Fishman, Assunta, detail
Louise Fishman, Postscript, 2010, 50 x 29 inches, oil on linen