Toledo Museum of Art, Glass Pavilion, Toledo, July 15th – September 30th, 2011, Pill Spill
Beverly Fishman’s “Pill Spill” at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion is a floor installation of more than 120 unique glass capsules ranging from 6 to 15 inches. Sited in the glass enclosed cavities running along the front of the building and the side of the lobby, the installation was created to activate the unique architecture of the pavilion, which was designed by Tokyo-based SANAA, Ltd. and opened in 2006.
For more than two decades, Fishman’s largely abstract work has explored our relationship to science and medicine in a variety of different media. Mixing optical patterns with vibrant colors and representational elements taken from pharmaceuticals and scientific imaging systems, her paintings, sculptures, and works on paper raise questions about the relationship between technology, our bodies, and our minds.
“Pill Spill” treats the Glass Pavilion as a “body” by releasing capsules into the curved glass hollows between its walls, which the installation transforms into an architectural circulatory system. The capsule is used as an abstract module through which constantly changing color and pattern combinations are created. By their position on the floor, these fragile objects also contest the preciousness of their materials; and their strewn and accumulated configurations help blur the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces.
This new body of work was created as part of the Toledo Museum’s Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP). Fishman was selected as the 2010 artist in residence and worked collaboratively with the Glass Pavilion's Staff of artists to execute her vision for the pills and their installation.