Louise Fishman:
A Retrospective

Louise Fishman:
A Retrospective

Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY

Louise Fishman, Serenissima, 2012. Oil on linen, 70 x 88 inches. Private collection. Photo courtesy of Cheim & Read, New York.
April 1, 2016
Louise Fishman: A Retrospective

April 3–July 31, 2016

Neuberger Museum of Art
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577

T 914 251 6100


At age 77, Louise Fishman, one of America’s most important women artists, will enjoy her first career retrospective, organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York. It has been a long time in coming. Ms. Fishman, whose work embraces the Abstract Expressionist tradition but reinvents it, has long fought for the meaningful recognition that Neuberger Chief Curator Helaine Posner believes has eluded many women artists because of sexism and other cultural biases. “Fishman was active in the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early ’70s, and raged against a male-dominated art world. She also became a passionate advocate for gay and lesbian rights.” Ms. Posner curated several exhibitions in recent years featuring the work of contemporary women artists that have received significant critical acclaim. She believes this exhibition reflects Fishman’s finest hour: “She’s at the top of her game.”

A 224-page, fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition Louise Fishman: A Retrospective. Concurrently, an exhibition of Fishman’s sketchbooks, sculpture, and miniature painting works will be shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, in Paper Louise Tiny Fishman Rock from May 4 through August 14.

Louise Fishman: A Retrospective, on view from April 3 through July 31 at the Neuberger, features over 50 works, created by the artist from 1968 through 2015. This exhibition traces the course and development of Fishman’s career, featuring early hard-edged grid paintings of the late 1960s, feminist-inspired woven-and-stitched works and the explosive “Angry Paintings” of the 1970s, “Remembrance and Renewal” works made in response to a transformative visit to Auschwitz and Terezin in 1988, culminating in the calligraphic and gestural abstractions for which she is widely known. Paintings inspired by the artist’s residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice in 2011 and by the work of British artist J.M.W. Turner complete the exhibition. Throughout it all, Fishman experimented with style and medium, and she varied her approach. Yet, she ultimately remained true to abstraction, employing a thicket of brush strokes that are dynamic, bold, energetic, passionate, and intensely physical, often infused by a spirit of resistance and discontent. “My paintings are very athletic, very musical; they’re architectural,” the artist recently explained to a visitor to her studio. “Feminism taught me I could do anything.”

Louise Fishman: A Retrospective is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY and curated by Helaine Posner, Chief Curator. Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and by Susan and James Dubin. Additional support has been provided by Lauren B. Cramer, Helen Stambler Neuberger and James Neuberger, Sara and Michelle Vance Waddell, Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and by the Purchase College Foundation.


Panel discussions and conversations

Wednesday, April 6, 4:30–6pm
Louise Fishman in Conversation with Helaine Posner
Neuberger Museum of Art
Louise Fishman discusses her life, work, sources of inspiration, and artistic process with Neuberger Chief Curator Helaine Posner.

Wednesday, April 13, 12:30pm
Idith Meshulam Korman: A Piano Concert Inspired by Louise Fishman
Neuberger Museum
Idith Meshulam Korman performs musical works selected in response to the visual practice of Louise Fishman.

Wednesday, April 27, 5pm
Louise Fishman Study Day
Neuberger Museum of Art
Presenters include Faye Hirsch, senior editor at Art in America and visiting Associate Professor of Art+Design at Purchase College; Catherine Lord, Professor Emerita of Art, University of California, Irvine, Claire Trevor School of Art; and Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University.

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Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY
April 1, 2016

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