Louise Fishman at Cheim & Read, and . . . .

Louise Fishman Rock and Ruins 2005 oil on linen 60" x 70" [detail*]

Louise Fishman The Arto of Losing 2003 oil on linen 80" x 60" [view of installation]

Louise Fishman The Moon in My Sky 2005 oil on canvas 56" x 46.5"

I don't suppose anyone would think I could be objective about the art of Louise Fishman if they knew my connection with the artist, but if it meant having to give up that connection I wouldn't really want to be in a position where I could be objective.

I do love her work, but I'm obliged to make this disclosure:

A friend told us around five years ago that a real artist (we understood "painter") had bought the beautiful apartment across the hall from us. We were delighted, especially since this would be virtually a first in our building, even though it may house 200 people. This is Chelsea, after all, so we had never really expected artist neighbors.

I confess that at first Barry and I didn't know who she was, even after we were told her name about a week or two later. While "Louise Fishman" sounded pretty familiar, even though we had generally been immersing ourselves in the work of emerging artists, neither of us could pull up an image in our heads. We ran to a search engine where we were very excited to find that we really liked what we saw. It was also clear that she was very well known and respected, so we should have been pretty embarassed about our ignorance. In fact, that just made us a little more shy than we would otherwise have been once she moved in.

We came to know her even before we had actually seen her work other than in reproduction. In her case the difference is staggering and for any one interested in grown-up painting her shows remain one of the best arguments against depending upon the image of the thing rather than the thing itself.

Oh yes, about the no-regret-for-subjectivity thing: Louise is a truly great artist, but she is also a great intellect, an activist, a good heart, dynamite company and a wonderful friend and neighbor. Barry and I wouldn't have the pleasure of most of those things if we knew only her art.

Her current solo exhibition is at Cheim & Read right now. Of course it's a beauty, but you don't have to take my word for it; it continues until March 25.

Rock and Ruins
[click for full image]

I also didn't know her work and was pleasantly surprised. Very strong paintings.

Happy to read a neigbour and admirer of Louise Fishman. Having followed her work in print and on the net since her last show at Cheim & Read last year, we saw three of her paintings live yesterday at her new gallery Alain Noirhomme in Brussels yesterday -- and they looked great. Transparent, rough surfaces with forceful but reserved gestures -- no fifties' nostalgia for sure. We acquired a small untitled gem, in green, white and Burgundy red from 2006, which hangs beautifully next to a Brice Marden etching and paintings from Bleckner and Lasker. Please tell Louise she has two more fans in Europe. Dominique and Marco