(American, born 1955)
Dividose: Fluor.Y.O.R.G.B., 2008
enamel on polished stainless steel, in two parts; 56 x 84 inches overall
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Beverly Fishman’s abstractions combine multiple patterns derived from medical imaging, genetic code, and other graphic interpretations of the body. While not directly portraying the human figure, she nevertheless conveys the mixed signals—chemical, psychological, and cultural—that dwell within us.
The word “dividose” in the title of this work refers to segmented pills that allow a patient to select various dosages. Fishman’s paintings from the Dividose series are likewise segmented into multiple panels that accumulate into a stimulating visual experience. The juxtaposition between the vertical stripes above and the chaotic weave of lines below evoke conflicting states of being, perhaps before and after sedation. Fishman’s vibrant art provides an alluring commentary on the effects of the science and marketing of pharmacology in contemporary society.
Beverly Fishman studied at Yale University under the guidance of Judy Pfaff and Elizabeth Murray, women who redefined the shape of modern painting in the 1970s and 1980s. Through her use of progressive techniques and industrial materials, which have included stainless steel, acrylic resin, glass, and chrome, Fishman offers further innovations to the tradition of painting in the 21st century.
I have always been interested in having my paintings produce a strong physical reaction in the viewer. Through their optical patterns and color relations, I want them to produce a deeply visceral and drug-like effect and to prod the viewer to think about how science and medicine have historically gained more power to affect us.