December 29, 2018 - January 29, 2019
GAVLAK Palm Beach is proud to present a solo exhibition, “Synthetic Wonderland” by artist Beverly Fishman
(b. 1955, Philadelphia, PA). Fishman has been the Artist-in-Residence, Head of Painting at Cranbrook Academy since 1992.
This is the artists first solo show with Gavlak.
In 2012, Fishman began fabricating polychrome reliefs in wood and urethane paint, exploring the landscape of our
contemporary global relationship with drugs and the pharmaceutical industry. Drugs contest our identities, similar to
the production and consumption of art can inflict those same addictive qualities. Fishman’s research into the science of
pharmaceutical companies, generic manufacturers, and illegal drug suppliers highlight the power of phenomenology of spectatorship portrayed in these reliefs.
The shapes of Fishman’s wall objects, ranging from twenty-five inches to fifteen feet in size, are derived from the structures
of common pharmaceuticals (brand name and generic). Their colors reference both skin tones— sold to us through cosmetics—and the realms of technology and industry, as indicated by non- natural, industrial hues, such as those produced by fluorescent and automobile paints. Created through her combination of industrial and hand-based practices, their reflective surfaces, physical presence, and phenomenological impact make these works socially critical. Fishman wants her audiences to reflect on both the benefits and the dangers that drugs and pharmaceuticals offer us. The reliefs employ scale shifts and chromatic juxtapositions to turn tiny commodities into large signs and corporate logos that promise health, beauty, pleasure, and the transcendence of death. But as today’s opioid crisis graphically demonstrates, we must be vigilant in distinguishing drugs’ healthful from their harmful uses.
Mining the histories of geometric and hard-edge abstraction and re-configuring them through strategies of appropriation and references to both living bodies and seductive objects, Fishman hopes to provoke reflection on both art and society in an increasingly anxious, addicted, and divided moment. It is only by examining how we diagnostically view and medicate ourselves that we may see our way past the most pressing dangers of our time.
Beverly Fishman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1955 and currently lives and works in Michigan. She earned her BFA at Philadelphia College of Art, PA and received her MFA from Yale University, CT. Fishman has had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and internationally, including; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; White Columns, New York, NY; Galerie Jean-Luc & Takao Richard, Paris, France; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL; Wasserman Projects, Birmingham, MI; and Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL. She has participated is several group exhibitions nationally and internationally from New York to London, Cologne and Paris. These include 148 Gallery, Tribeca, New York; Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, DE; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Bernard Jacobson Gallery, Basel, Switzerland; Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard, Cologne, Germany; American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY, among many more.
All current exhibitions will be on view through January 29, 2019 at Gavlak Palm Beach
(340 Royal Poinciana Way, Ste M307, Palm Beach, FL 33480).
For more information concerning the exhibitions, or for press inquiries, please contact
John J. McGurk at [email protected],