Louise Fishman


Louise Fishman’s work celebrates process. In monumental, energetic surfaces of densely layered color and texture, her paintings exemplify a driven exploration of materials and mark-making. Using scrapers and trowels, along with more traditional paintbrushes, Fishman constructs loosely-gridded compositions by adding, scraping away and re-applying paint, sometimes working and reworking canvases over a long period of time. Remarkable not only for their technical mastery, her abstractions are also emotionally evocative. Physically stunning, her work is continually re-charged by her viewers’ reactions.


While Fishman’s paintings do not openly narrate the events of her life, they are certainly
rooted in her cultural, political and emotional experiences. Born in Philadelphia in 1939,
Fishman was active in the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 70s. During this
time, she temporarily abandoned painting for sculptural and material investigations that
pursued a more distinctly feminine art. Fishman’s return to painting was anticipated by her
seminal 1973 “Angry Women” series, which represented important figures in the feminist
movement. Her subsequent embrace of gestural abstraction unapologetically confronted
the male-dominated history of artistic discourse. At a time when postmodernism claimed
painting to be “dead,” Fishman’s decisive re-appropriation of Abstract Expressionism
repositioned it for a different era and gender. Continuing her support for the feminist
cause, Fishman is also an advocate for gay and lesbian rights. Though she may reference
specific personal experiences in her work, the feelings she conveys can be collectively


Fishman lives and works in New York City. Widely shown, her work is represented in many
collections including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; and The Jewish Museum, New York, among
others. Awards include three National Endowment for the Arts grants, a New York
Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. She has
also participated in several artists’ residencies, most recently at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy. Fishman has held recent solo exhibitions at Galerie Kienzle & Gmeiner, Berlin (2008); The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2009); Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco (2010) and Jack Tilton Gallery, New York (2012). In 2016, Fishman was the subject of a retrospective exhibition curated by Helaine Posner at the Neuberger Museum of Purchase College. Concurrently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia was an exhibition of Fishman’s small-scale work, curated by Ingrid Schaffner. Accompanying the exhibitions was the monograph, Louise Fishman, published by DelMonico Books/Prestel. She has been represented by Cheim & Read since 1998.

Louise Fishman at 192 Books
May 19, 2016
Louise Fishman Retrospective
April 3, 2016
Reinventing Abstraction curated by Raphael Rubinstein
June 27 – August 30, 2013
Reinventing Abstraction
New York Painting in the 1980s
June 27, 2013
The Women in Our Life: A Fifteen Year Anniversary Exhibition
June 30 – September 17, 2011
Abstractions by Gallery Artists
September 24 – October 3, 2009
Brooklyn Rail 3/08
Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Fishman
Soutine and Modern Art
The New Landscape/The New Still Life
June 22 – September 8, 2006
Soutine and Modern Art
The New Landscape/The New Still LIfe
May 31, 2006
Small Paintings
HAND PAINTED PICTURES by Ingo Meller, Louise Fishman, Juan Uslé, Richmond Burton, Joan Mitchell, Mary Heilmann, Bill Jensen, Jack Pierson, Dona Nelson, Eva Hes
July 1 – 31, 1998

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