Beverly Fishman, CHEMICAL SUBLIME
02.24.2018 — 04.28.2018
Kavi Gupta is pleased to present CHEMICAL SUBLIME, a solo exhibition of original work by Beverly Fishman.
Combining the handmade with the industrial, Fishman employs a variety of techniques to explore technological, scientific, and biological systems of perception and representation, instigating constructive conversations about the ways people see their bodies and minds, and construct their identities. Her most illustrious bodies of work engage with the visual language of the medical industrial complex. For example, her highly-polished Pill reliefs utilize iconic pharmaceutical forms as the basis for seemingly abstract compositions that radiate with color. Her brilliantly complex Dividose paintings appropriate the unsettling, multilayered, linear aesthetic of medical imaging technologies such as EEG and EKG machines, provoking levels of optical fascination capable of eliciting physiological responses from viewers.
Though seemingly direct, Fishman’s work is daringly open. It poetically kindles the most pressing issues of our time: how humanity sees itself and allows itself to be seen; the extent to which technology alters our perception of ourselves; the choices we face whether to alter our reality or to alter our experience of it. Equally important to its meaning are its formal aspects: its juxtaposition of colors and patterns; its evocative art historical references; its oscillation between abstraction and representation. Of constant primacy is the work’s undeniable exactitude of craft, which elevates its physical presence to heights equal to its enigmatic conceptual depth.
Fishman has relentlessly sought out new materials and processes in order to realize her evolving vision. That search has occasionally yielded opportunities to pioneer new production techniques, always in service to the concepts she is exploring. Her materials list has included traditional supports such as wood, paper, blown glass and aluminum, as well as more unconventional elements like cast resin, mirrored Plexiglass, powder-coated metal and phosphorescent pigments. She also frequently uses mediums like chrome and urethane automotive paint that speak in conversation with the legacy of the Detroit area, where she has lived and worked as the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Painting Department of the Cranbrook Academy of Art since 1992.
Since earning her MFA from Yale in 1980, Fishman has received multiple prestigious awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and an NEA Fellowship Grant. Her work has been written about extensively in the press, including in The New York Times, Art21 Magazine, Hyperallergic, Art Critical and Juxtapose. Her recent solo exhibitions include DOSE, curated by Nick Cave, at the CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY, Pill Spill, at the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI, and Pharmako, at Galerie Richard, Paris, France.
Work by Fishman is included in multiple private and institutional collections, including that of the Miami Art Museum, the MacArthur Foundation, Alfred Taubman, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Columbus Museum of Art, The Kresge Art Museum, and the Istanbul Art Centre.