Louise Fishman is recognized as one of the best known American abstract painters of her generation. Her education consists of some of Pennsylvania’s best art schools including: The Philadelphia College, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Tyler School of Fine Arts. She received her MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign.
Originally, her painting style gave her some trouble in being recognized and she exhibited only occasionally in the 60’s when she produced primarily grid based work. As the feminist movement gained strength in the 70’s, Fishman abandoned the Minimalist-inspired grid paintings and began making work that reflected traditional woman’s tasks. She returned later to the masculine realm of abstract painting and fought her way to distinguish her work from the male artists. The resulting compositions combine gestural brushwork with an orderly structure as if Fishman built or wove her paintings, starting from a foundation and carefully adding layer upon interlocking layer.
Fishman’s abstractions, while not directly narrating her life, are rooted in her cultural, political and emotional experiences. Active in the feminist movement and in gay and lesbian rights, Fishman drew profound inspiration from a 1988 trip to Eastern Europe and the Holocaust concentration camps of Auschwitz and Terezin. The results of these experiences are continually reflected in her work.
In Casa Cenote, the viewer is drawn to the subtle calibration of light and color, the careful layered gesture and the adept handling that connotes an evaporating veneer and tunneling open space. The piece has an emotive force, not expressing a singular thought or opinion, but pulling response from the viewer. The work’s force emerges mysteriously, revealing Fishman’s unique version of Abstract Expressionism.