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Cheim &\; Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of re cent work by New York painter Louise Fishman. The show will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue with an essay by Judith Stein.

Known for gestural abstractions characterized by unique intersections of color a nd space\, Fishman has long recognized the effects of personal\, cultural a nd political experience on her work. Many of the paintings in this exhibiti on were inspired by her recent stay at the Emily Harvey Foundation artist’s residency in Venice\, Italy. Fishman’s deep understanding of art history—h er mother and aunt were artists (both studied at the Barnes Foundation) and she grew up among art books and art-centric discussion—was buoyed by the a ged\, layered streets of Venice\, where one of her favorite artists\, Titia n\, once walked. Her new paintings are infused with theatricality\, no doub t inspired by her Italian sojourn. Compositions echo traditional ascension or crucifixion motifs\, confirmed by painted swaths of upward and outward m ovement. Halos of paint radiate from the cores of Fishman’s canvases\, allo wing for unexpected drama. Blue saturates many paintings\, providing a step ping stone between works. The color is evocative of the Virgin Mary’s lapis robes\, and of Venice’s ubiquitous water.

While in Venice\, F ishman limited her studio practice to drawing and watercolor. With a camera \, she recorded her impressions on daily walks. It was upon returning to he r New York studio that the effects of the residency became pronounced in he r work. Often painting three or four canvases at one time\, Fishman’s chara cteristic exploration of material and technique coincided with a marked shi ft in gesture and mark-making. Picture postcards of Venetian paintings were tacked to the studio wall\, and paintings like Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin made their influence known. The works Assunta\, Calle dei Cinque\, A ngel and Stone\, and Calle Maria Callas directly reference her Venice stay\ , the last also citing her love for opera. Fishman’s experimental use of ma terials—nubby jute canvas in some cases\, the application of paint with her fingers in others—is consistent with her oeuvre and adds depth to her mult i-layered\, carefully constructed compositions.

Powerful in ph ysical presence\, Fishman’s work is remarkable not only for its technical m astery\, but also for its embodiment of both conscious and unconscious elem ents. Her abstractions are emotionally evocative—Fishman may reference a sp ecific personal experience\, but the feeling she conveys can be collectivel y understood. Punctuated by intensely focused energy\, her work is continua lly re-charged by her viewers’ reactions. Born in 1939\, Fishman was an act ive participant in the feminist movement and is an advocate of gay and lesb ian rights. She unapologetically confronts the male-dominated history of ar tistic discourse: her decisive re-appropriation of Abstract Expressionism r epositions it for a different era and gender. Fishman’s Venetian paintings claim a bit of history as well: her transformation of the Virgin’s assumpti on into a richly textured abstraction of blues and grays weaves threads of artistic inspiration for a new audience.

On view in New York a t Tilton Gallery\, Louise Fishman Five Decades\, curated by Simon Watson op ening September 5. On view at the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia\, Gen erations: Louise Fishman\, Gertrude Fisher-Fishman\, and Razel Kapustin\, O ctober 13\, 2012 – January 6\, 2012.

DTEND:20121027 DTSTAMP:20141020T134203 DTSTART:20120913 GEO:40.750026;-74.005133 LOCATION:Cheim & Read\,547 West 25th St \nNew York\, NY 10001 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Louise Fishman UID:233584 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20120913T200000 DTSTAMP:20141020T134203 DTSTART:20120913T180000 GEO:40.750026;-74.005133 LOCATION:Cheim & Read\,547 West 25th St \nNew York\, NY 10001 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Solo Exhibition\, Louise Fishman UID:235959 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR