1955 · United States
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 Equally important are its formal aspects: its juxtaposition of colors and patterns; its evocative art historical references; its oscillation between abstraction and representation.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-coated metal and phosphorescent pigments. She also frequently uses mediums like chrome and urethane automotive paint that speak in conversation with the legacy of the Detroit area, where she has lived and worked as the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Painting Department of the Cranbrook Academy of Art since 1992. 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.