September 23, 2013
Celebrated Detroit Artist Beverly Fishman Opens Her Exhibition at the Broad MSU
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, 09/23/2013


Celebrated Detroit Artist Beverly Fishman Opens Her Exhibition at the Broad MSU
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, 09/23/2013

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University present Focus: Beverly Fishman, opening on Friday, September 27th. The celebrated Detroit artist will be speaking about her work starting at 6 P.M., and a reception will be held immediately following at 7 P.M. The artist talk and reception are free and open to the public, and the exhibition runs through January 5th, 2014.

Beverly Fishman is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Painting at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Fishman has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, and has developed a singular and iconic form of painterly practice. Her large scale images, most often created through a time consuming process of applying brightly colored enamel to stainless steel planes, are dizzying in their final effect and deeply conceptual in their underpinnings. These seeming abstractions are actually deeply human as the artist transcribes medical records that encode physical body functions. EKG’s, EEG’s and neuron spike readouts are all featured prominently in the visual form. In many of the works, bar code signs and the ghostly shapes of pills emerge slowly from the heavily patterned surfaces into the viewer’s visual field.

In the history of twentieth century art, large scale abstract painting is often thought to be organic and psychological, presenting both the marks of active painting and giving some suggested access into an artist’s mental state. In her work, Fishman upends that tradition, appropriating medical representations of the human interior to suggest that there is no unmediated representation of mental states as well as to make the connection between abstraction and the body concrete. At the same time, Fishman offers a critical perspective on our current culture’s obsession with the medical, stringing together masses of scan readouts to point to the way humans in the 21st century often turn first to medicine and even mood-altering medication as a means of seeking a happier existence. Both critical and celebratory, Fishman’s technologically-based art is contemporary in its ideas, forms, and approach. As the use of the polished steel often offers viewers a reflected glimpse of themselves, she reminds us that we are all implicated in this 21st century approach to thinking about the human body.

Associated News

  • November 27, 2018

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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