Louise Fishman
We’ll Meet Again
Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles
March 27 – May 15, 2021

We’ll Meet Again presents a unique perspective on Fishman’s signature approach to working with the material possibilities of paint – pairing new paintings created in her studio in upstate New York over the past year (2020) of quarantine with a selection of older works made between 1974 – 1985 from the artist’s personal archive. Also on view are a selection of recent watercolors on paper and board, intimate in scale, consisting of an array of color and texture.

Though painted forty plus years apart from one another, the connections between the paintings in We’ll Meet Again are abundant; from the methodology and physicality of the artist’s application of paint to her preoccupation with an intuitive painterly knowledge to the striking surfaces of each artwork made evident through inventiveness, tactility, and rigor.

Steeped in the practice of painting, Fishman’s very process and discipline as a painter cohesively spark the dialogue(s) between these historical and contemporary works. The installation of the exhibition aims to present an early and a current work side by side as if a series of tableaux – where the development of an artist’s visual vocabulary is also on display.

The earliest works from 1974 and 1975, were made around the time of the artist’s first solo show in NYC at Nancy Hoffman Gallery; consisting of oil and wax on irregularly shaped pieces of plywood. By 1978 the artist re-engaged with the traditionally stretched linen rectangle to create a post-ab-ex universe, inspired by travel, literature, art history, and the artist’s own identity in the world. The works from these early periods provide insight into Fishman’s early formalism, as well as her desire to deconstruct such formalism.

The five recent paintings (acrylic, oil, and flashe on canvas and linen) are full of symphonic gestures; deep blues, saturated earth tones, and brackish blacks wrestle with silvery greys, impenetrable whites, and impassioned reds.

Fishman’s method of applying paint becomes one of the key elements found throughout an extensive career that spans over five decades. Gestures appear and reappear, but slightly different in hue or emphasis of stroke. There is an ever-shifting seduction in the work of Louise Fishman; upon a first glance, you might believe you get it. As you come closer to the work(s), your initial experience is challenged – allowing the viewer to witness a range of expansion and contraction, a plethora of vitality, and a hidden order within the exuberant, seeming chaos.