James Fisher: Imagined Worlds

Rosenbaum Contemporary

Sep. 5, 2024 - Nov. 4, 2023

150 Yamato Road
Boca Raton, 33431
PHONE 561-994-9180


An exhibition featuring oil on linen paintings from two series by British artist James Fisher.

In the first series, Fisher used fragments of drawings he made of the strange and beautiful plants in a local arboretum collaged together in his studio with images from dreams. His dialed-up palette is inspired by Technicolor films such as “The Wizard of Oz,” while the flattened planes of his landscapes reference Japanese prints and Indian miniatures. The resulting paintings depict imagined worlds—fantastic gardens inhabited by mysterious creatures.

The paintings in the second series, made in response to Wilhelm Müller’s libretto for Franz Schubert’s “Winterreise” song cycle and John Clare’s “Recollections of Journey from Essex,” reflect worlds imagined by the writers. “Beyond Ice and Night and Fear” and “You Won’t Hear My Step” attempt to capture in paint the “Winterreise” protagonist’s shifts between the present, which he perceives as threatening, and his pleasant memories of the past. “The Air of Highland Mary” depicts Clare’s childhood sweetheart, Mary Joyce, whom he mistakenly believed he had married, holding Clare in the form of an imagined animal, in this case, a turtle. The ethereal quality of the figure and the transient landscape, achieved through the accumulation of delicate stains and traces of powdered pigment, visually capture the mix of fact, fantasy, false memories and hallucinations in Clare’s prose.

Fisher received his Ph.D. in fine art from the University of Gloucestershire, his M.A. in Painting from the Royal College of Art, and his B.A. with honors in Painting from the University of Brighton, England. The exhibit at Rosenbaum Contemporary will be the first exhibition of his work in the United States.

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