Beverly Fishman, Studies on Relief

14 July - 5 August 2020
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    Kavi Gupta proudly presents Studies on Relief, an online exhibition of works on paper by Beverly Fishman. Best known for her sculptural Pill Reliefs—luminous, abstract multi-forms gleaned from the visual languages of polypharmacy and modernism—Fishman reveals the experimental process that culminates in her large-scale works through these delicate collages.

    Fishman’s research has long centered on humanity’s relationship with the 
    medical-industrial complex. Deftly subverting Big Pharma’s visual lexicon, her work replaces chemical promises with a glowing, postmodern proposition for aesthetic transcendence

     

     


     

    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 5,000.00
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    Fishman’s collages offer intimate windows into her search for deeper meaning within the censorial union of color and form, as well as her formal examination of the shapes and hues of pharmaceutical pill capsules, and her thoughts about how people take multiple pills, or parts of pills, per day.

    “It’s crazy the way people mix up pills, especially in nursing homes,” Fishman points out. “But when a patient who should probably not be on the group of pills they’re on already, then has to add a pill, it’s very hard to take them off all their medication, because the side effects would be too hard to handle. So they’re tweaking, looking for the right balance.”

    Fishman does the same with her collages, tweaking the colors and forms, looking for the right balance.

     


     

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    “The collages are my way of getting down color possibilities and qualities of potential light that I want to come through in the finished Pill Reliefs,” Fishman says. “One hundred percent, I’m looking for a sensation from these colors. I want the relief to have a presence, you know?”

    The final Pill Reliefs need a high-quality finish to mimic the fabrication of the pills. Conceptually they cannot look handmade or show brush marks. The collages, on the other hand, rejoice in their handmade, hand-cut materiality.

    “They have become something on their own,” Fishman says. “The color is sometimes very odd, because I can’t imagine the relationships unless I make the collage. If I want to shift a colored line around, I literally have to tediously remake the composition as a separate collage. I don’t work on the computer. I do it by hand and stand in front of the collage and look at it. I need the different versions for comparison."

     


     

    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Epilepsy), 2019 Urethane paint on wood 44 x 45 x 2 in 111.8 x 114.3 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Epilepsy), 2019
      Urethane paint on wood
      44 x 45 x 2 in
      111.8 x 114.3 x 5.1 cm
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2019 Collage on paper 17 x 14 x 2 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2019
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 x 2 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2019 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2019
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Double Depression), 2019 Urethane paint on wood 44 x 88 x 2 in 111.8 x 223.5 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Double Depression), 2019
      Urethane paint on wood
      44 x 88 x 2 in
      111.8 x 223.5 x 5.1 cm
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    As with the final Pill Reliefs, Fishman’s collages possess a range of finishes, from shiny to matte. “I use all types of papers, from art stores, design stores, hardware stores, along with vinyl, cardboard, fabric, whatever,” Fishman explains. “I like the materiality of color as something physical.”

    The hard part is predicting how the color relationships will change when translated into large-scale sculpture.

     

     


     

    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 5,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 5,000.00
  •  


     

    “There are always surprises,” Fishman says. “A sheer amount of a certain color shifts radically when it gets enlarged. But I love the surprise, even though sometimes the result is horrible, and it has to be repainted.”

    Fishman’s collages carry a simple message for Big Pharma, especially in the time of COVID-19, as billions of us wait on salvation.

    “Almost everyone in the world would take anything if they thought it would save their lives,” Fishman says. “Unfortunately, a lot of people die that way. We have to test things properly. That’s what this exercise is about.”

     

     


     

    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Sold
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Sold
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Depression, High Blood Pressure, Bipolar Disorder, Opioid Addiction), 2017 Urethane on wood 91 1/4 x 105 3/4 x 2 in 231.6 x 268.6 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Depression, High Blood Pressure, Bipolar Disorder, Opioid Addiction), 2017
      Urethane on wood
      91 1/4 x 105 3/4 x 2 in
      231.6 x 268.6 x 5.1 cm
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 14 x 17 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      14 x 17 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Alcoholism, Antipsychotic, Pain, High Blood Pressure), 2017 Urethane paint on wood 50 x 103 3/4 x 2 in 127 x 263.7 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Alcoholism, Antipsychotic, Pain, High Blood Pressure), 2017
      Urethane paint on wood
      50 x 103 3/4 x 2 in
      127 x 263.7 x 5.1 cm
      Sold
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 5,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Digestive Problems Missing Dose), 2017 Urethane on wood 42 5/8 x 39 1/4 x 2 in 108.2 x 99.7 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Digestive Problems Missing Dose), 2017
      Urethane on wood
      42 5/8 x 39 1/4 x 2 in
      108.2 x 99.7 x 5.1 cm
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      19 x 24 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 5,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled, 2020 Collage on paper 17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled, 2020
      Collage on paper
      17 x 14 in Unframed digital frame added
      $ 4,000.00
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Sleepiness, Antipsychotic, Pain), 2017 Urethane on wood 93 x 48 x 2 in 236.2 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Sleepiness, Antipsychotic, Pain), 2017
      Urethane on wood
      93 x 48 x 2 in
      236.2 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm
    • Beverly Fishman Untitled (Four Missing Doses), 2017 Urethane paint on wood 38 x 38 x 2 in 96.5 x 96.5 x 5.1 cm
      Beverly Fishman
      Untitled (Four Missing Doses), 2017
      Urethane paint on wood
      38 x 38 x 2 in
      96.5 x 96.5 x 5.1 cm
  • About The Artist

     


     

    Beverly Fishman (b. 1955, USA) 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 works engage with the visual language of the medical industrial complex. Her highly polished Pill reliefs utilize pharmaceutical forms as the basis for seemingly abstract compositions that radiate with color. 

     

    Her complex Dividose paintings appropriate the unsettling linear aesthetic of medical imaging technologies such as EEG and EKG machines, provoking levels of optical fascination capable of eliciting physiological responses from viewers. 

     

    Fishman's work 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 choice whether to alter our reality or to alter our experience of it. Equally important 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 exactitude of craft, which elevates the work's presence to heights equal to its conceptual depth. 

     

    Fishman's materials list has included traditional supports such as wood, paper, blown glass and aluminum, as well as unconventional elements like cast resin, mirrored Plexiglass, powder-coat-ed metal and phosphorescent pigments. Fishman taught at Cranbrook Academy of Art for 26 years where she served as the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Painting Department until her retirement in 2019

     

    Work by Fishman is included in the collections of the MacArthur Foundation, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Columbus Museum of Art, The Chrysler Museum of Art, and many others.