Reflecting on The Week (2009-04-18)

Jason Eisner(?) on N6th btw Bedford/Berry

CAPTION: Jason Eisner(?) on N6th btw Bedford/Berry (photo Veken)

  • Just met Alfredo Jaar. I’m a little star struck! #
  • Had a nice Easter dinner with in-laws & extended family. Eating can truly be an art. #
  • New developments at my blog…can’t spell my last name…no worries: Use #
  • Am I the only person to think the Louise Fishman show at Cheim & Read was pedestrian? #
  • The best part of being sick at home is catching up on Internet TV…The Burg’s holiday show “DEPRESSION” is great: #
  • Great sculptural detail at Cathedral of St. John the Divine # (via @bhoggard)
  • “If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.” – Wilson Mizner # (via @QuadsZilla)
  • NY Gov intros same-sex marriage bill: (would provide couples 1,324 rights they are denied now) # (via @mykey81)
  • Design mag Architectural Digest is named one of the “Twelve Major Brands that Will Disappear” in 2009 # (via @artnetdotcom)
  • And the award for funniest (obviously) unauthorized use of an artist’s work goes to…. (artist Cao Fei) #
  • New flatfile project grows in Brooklyn # (via @TwoCoats)
  • “Italy is not…America. Art isn’t reduced [to]..obscene auction prices or…the bursting bubble of shameless excess.” # (via

4 responses to “Reflecting on The Week (2009-04-18)”

  1. eageageag Avatar

    I was disappointed. Everyone loved it. This is an IMPORTANT artist who has been working hard for a long time. NONE of the paintings in the exhibition caught my attention for more than a few seconds. The compositions were violent and resolutely abstract. But I did not find anything to love about them. I thought they were monotonous. If they are the kinds of things that grow on you when you spend a lot of time with them I was not willing to make that sacrifice, because there was nothing that caught my eye that was worth pursuing through time.

  2. eageageag Avatar

    I take it all back. Fishman is a genius. You are wrong HV.

  3. Hrag Avatar

    I’m comfortably with being occasionally wrong but I don’t think I am this time. I found the paintings too nostalgic, though I’d love to hear your opinion about them. What happened to change your mind?

  4. eageageag Avatar

    I saw images of them on James Wagner’s blog. I complimented the images he took of the paintings but for some reason he did not deem my comment worthy of posting on his blog.

    I think that at first these paintings do not make a good impression. They struck me as being monotonous and somewhat strangled. Brusque and overworked perhaps. But I think there is a lot going on with them formally, in terms of the layering and variation of paint application. I think there is more to look at then one would assume when first encountering them. I think it takes a long time for the complex use of color to register, and there is a wonderful assortment of textures and surfaces suggested by the artist’s use of the brush and pallette knife and drips and whatever else she uses to apply the pigment. The imagery suggests many things in the organic world, macro and micro phenomena, whether the artist was interested in this or not. They are first and foremost artifice, abstract orchestrations of colors and forms and lines, but I do not think they are hermetic. They speak to experience but they are also other, alien and intimidating. The artist tries hard to avoid direct associations with the physical world and her paintings end up having a primordial feel to them. They suggest forces, currents and/or streams of energy or matter, but the conflicting gestures they contain are the artist’s impulses dramatically manifested two dimensionally. They avoid any easy symbolic reading and they strongly suggest the third dimension. There is also a dramatic element present in the artist’s working process. When is a painting finished? What should a painting consist of? These basic dilemmas that painters deal with all the time are an important part of Fishman’s paintings. The struggle isn’t just a form of egoism, but represents something basic to the painting process itself. Her expression of these primary creative struggles, her wrestling with matter in order to find something unique, something that has its own rhythm and mystery and emotional tonalities and stirring physicality, is admirable.

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