1. Bold, polychromatic wall works meditate on the many parallels that can be drawn between pharmaceuticals and art
2. The exhibition invites viewers to contemplate how pharmaceutical companies use aesthetics to market their products and produce varying versions of reality
MILES MCENERY GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Beverly Fishman, on view 11 October through 10 November at 520 West 21st Street. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, featuring an essay by Dawn Chan.
Beverly Fishman’s bold, polychromatic wall works meditate on the many parallels that can be drawn between pharmaceuticals and art. Like taking a pill, an experience with art is often brief yet has the ability to induce a response that runs deep within in one’s being. Fishman’s vivid geometric reliefs may not take on the overt physical appearance of pills, but are representative of how pharmaceutical companies utilize aesthetic appeal in their products to offer the promise of a better reality. Each optically alluring and carefully crafted shape stacked within her compositions is assigned an ailment denoted in the titles of the works.
The inviting, and deeply intriguing wall reliefs on view at Miles McEnery Gallery are a continuation of a series Fishman began in 2012, using urethane paint on cut wood panels. With their often large size and bright color palette, the works are confrontational and bursting with tensions that beguile the viewer’s senses. By painting the edges of the pieces with gleaming fluorescent tones, Fishman allows the colors to interact with the white of the walls behind them, giving the illusion of a neon glow. In some of her compositions, the push and pull between the flat and glossy finishes toys with the viewer’s perception of space and reality. The flawless, pristine surfaces of Fishman’s work additionally mimic the clean and technologically precise expanses of research labs and operating tables, further linking them to pharmaceuticals.
Fishman’s art invites the viewer to contemplate not only the ways in which pharmaceutical companies use aesthetics to market their products, but also how they can produce varying versions of reality. As Fishman wrote in an essay for Cultural Politics, our contemporary world is one in which “drugs construct and contest our identities and ... the production and consumption of art can seem like an addiction.”