Fishman, Beverly

Fishman, Beverly

Presented by David Richard Gallery

Fishman’s artistic practice comments on the state of mankind with respect to the ever-increasing amount of and dependence on technology in our daily lives. More specifically, her artwork examines how medical data is rapidly becoming an increasing part of our identity as it has the ability to define and confine us in many ways, such as manic depressive, menopausal, obese, diabetic or hypertensive. That data is not only used to describe our ills, or lack of wills, but also to prescribe and perpetuate our growing reliance on medications—ethical or otherwise—to make us look, feel and perform better; but better than what and decided by whom? In the future, will we come to think of medications as ‘natural?’ The physicality and materiality of Fishman’s paintings and sculptures, in terms of scale and experience, are an important aspect of her work. Her paintings consist of psychedelic optical patterns of layered medical data, silkscreened in bright phosphorescent-colored acrylic paint onto polished stainless steel. Many of the larger-than-life paintings—frequently diptychs or triptychs—are hung low to the ground, allowing the viewer to see his or her entire reflections like a mirror through the barrage of medical data and begging the questions: do you like the reflection you see? Do you even know the person you see? Smaller and medium-sized paintings capture just the head of the viewer. Fishman has made several series of pill-shaped sculptures in cast resin, chrome and glass. She has exhibited them hung on walls—looking as though a fist-full of pills was thrown into a room and stuck to the walls—or scattered on the floor as though they just spilled from a bottle. The cast resin wall sculptures glow in the dark, which is a perfect metaphor for the soothing and lulling effect of the drug. Beverly Fishman received her MFA from Yale University in 1980. Currently, she lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where she has been Artist-in-Residence and Head of Painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art since 1992. Fishman has had nearly two-dozen one-person exhibitions since 2000 at galleries in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Thessaloniki, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Santa Fe. Her work has also been included in many thematic exhibitions addressing abstraction, technology, medicine, and the body. She was just awarded the Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2010). Her work may be found in many public and corporate collections including the Toledo Art Museum, the Miami Art Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Cranbrook Art Museum, the Kresge Art Museum, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, United Nations Embassy in Istanbul, Hallmark, Inc., UBS Financial Services Inc. and Daimler-Chrysler Corporation.

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