LOUISE FISHMAN | Bearer of the Rose



Locks Gallery
Bearer of the Rose, 2017
Oil on linen
Signed top center of verso in pencil
70 x 90 x 2 in.


The artist

Philadelphia, Locks Gallery, Louise Fishman: My City, September 6 - October 19, 2019.

Louise Fishman (b. 1939) is a truly singular artist with a powerful and demanding vision. Her paintings are tough and uncompromising. Her work is architectonic, each painting containing an improvised structural grid assembled out of strokes, skeins, and slashes of paint. Containment and release work against each other. Shadow is as important as light, and color is always challenged. Using scrapers and trowels, along with more traditional paint brushes, Fishman constructs loosely-gridded compositions by adding, scraping away, and re-applying paint, sometimes working and reworking canvases over a long period of time. At a time when postmodernism claimed painting to be “dead,” Fishman’s decisive re-appropriation of abstraction repositioned it for a different era and gender.

Louise Fishman’s work is represented in many public collections, including: the National Academy of Art and Design, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Jewish Museum, NY; the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL; the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA. She was the recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others.

Widely shown for the past five decades, her first group show was at the National Drawing and Print Exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1961. Her first solo exhibit was at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 1963. Fishman was included in three Whitney Biennials, 1973, 1987, and 2014—the last biennial at the Breuer building. In 2016, the Neuberger Museum of Art organized the artist’s first retrospective, curated by Helaine Posner and accompanied by a monograph; the retrospective traveled to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017. In Fishman’s hometown of Philadelphia, the Institute of Contemporary Art held a concurrent exhibition of her small-scale work, Paper Louise Tiny Fishman Rock, curated by Ingrid Schaffner.


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