Citing John Cage’s 1965 response to the query, “What is drawing?”, A Question of Emphasis: Louise Fishman Drawing is the primary career-spanning exhibition and publication of works on paper by Louise Fishman (1939–2021). On view via February 2022 at Krannert Art Museum (KAM) at the College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the present options collage, oil and wax, thread, charcoal, printmaking, watercolor, and tempera in Japanese-bound leporello (accordion) books. This vary of mediums foregrounds the artist’s sturdy and devoted follow of works on paper, which have been by no means research for giant canvases. As a substitute, she used drawing to suppose via physicality, supplies, and intimacy on a register that was usually sculptural and tactile, and aligned together with her communities.
A Query of Emphasis examines the connection between an artist’s biography and drawing via feminist and queer views. Fishman’s drawings are distinctive as a result of many are devoted to lovers — an illustrious community of lesbian writers, students, and critics that embody Bertha Harris, Esther Newton, Jill Johnston, and Ingrid Nyeboe, Fishman’s partner. Fishman’s works on paper additionally honor her artist academics: Paul Cézanne, Piet Mondrian, Franz Kline, John Cage, Eva Hesse, and Agnes Martin. Some works are collaborative, together with prints Fishman made utilizing her mom’s collagraphic plates, and the Offended Girls acrylic textual content collection made for mates and muses throughout her involvement with feminist consciousness-raising within the Seventies.
This challenge follows Fishman’s lead, via drawing, to convene a neighborhood of dwelling and historic figures which might be integral to the development of self. Whereas centered on the artist’s hand, Fishman’s works on paper are the truth is radically open and provides audiences a robust perspective of artwork as a worldmaking challenge.
A Question of Emphasis: Louise Fishman Drawing is organized by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Fashionable and Modern Art at KAM and supported by the Henry Luce Basis American Art Program; the Rosann Gelvin Noel Fund; the School of High-quality and Utilized Arts, College of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Vielmetter Los Angeles; Sueyun Locks, the Locks Basis; Karma, New York; and the Sandra L. Batzli Memorial Fund.
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