Louise Fishman

born in 1939

Born in Philadelphia in 1939, Louise Fishman has lived and worked in New York City for over five decades. She 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 understood.

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.

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.; the 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.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1964 Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, USA

Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, USA

1967 University of Rhode Island, Kingston John Doyle Gallery, Chicago, USA

1977 Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, USA

1978 Department of State, Washington, D.C., USA

1979 Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, USA

855 Mercer, New York, USA

1980 Oscarsson-Hood Gallery, New York, USA

1982 Oscarsson-Hood Gallery, New York, USA

1984 Backerville & Watson Gallery, New York, USA

1985 North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

1986 Backerville & Watson Gallery, New York, USA

1987 Winston Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA

1989 Simon Watson Gallery, New York, USA

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, USA

1991 Lennon, Weinberg, Inc., New York, USA

1992 Olin Art Gallery, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, USA

Simon Watson Gallery, New York, USA

Morris Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA

1993 Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA

1994 Bianca Lanza Gallery, Miami, USA

1995 Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA

1996 Robert Miller Gallery, New York, USA

1998 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2000 Paule Anglim, San Francisco, USA

2001 Manny Silverman, Los Angeles, USA

2003 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2004 Manny Silverman, Los Angeles, USA

2005 Foster Gwin, San Francisco, USA

2006 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2007 Darthmouth Colleger, New Hampshire, USA

2008 Galerie Kienzle & Gmeiner, Berlin, Germany

2009 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL, USA

2010 Paule Anglim, San Francisco, USA

2012 Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, USA

John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY

Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2013 Goya Contemporary, Baltimore, MD, USA

2014 Frameless Gallery | Gallery Nosco, London, UK

2015 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2016 Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, USA

2016 Institute of Contemporary Art of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA

2017 Cheim & Read, New York, USA

2019 Frameless Gallery, solo presentation at Frieze NY, New York, USA

Public Collections

American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, USA

Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA

Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, USA

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Denver Art Museum, Colorado, USA

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA

Jewish Museum, New York, USA

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, USA

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., USA

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, USA University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA

University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Awards

1963 Senior Art Prize, Tyler School

1975 Change, Inc. Award

1975, 1983, 1994 National Endowment for the Arts Grant

1979 Guggenheim Fellowship

1981 CAPS Fellowship

1986 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship

1986 Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant

1994 National Endowment for the Arts, Painting

2002 Adolph & Clara Obrig Prize for Painting, National Academy of Design, 177th Annual Exhibition, 5/1st