Janet Fish: Pinwheels and Poppies, Paintings 1980-2008 at DC Moore Gallery
This was a featured item at THE LIST for Saturday, September 30, 2017
Last chance today to catch this three-decade survey of paintings by Janet Fish. Known primarily for her densely detailed, richly colored, complexly composed still lifes often lit with an intensity that matches their informational overload, Fish revels in the delightful inherent contradictions of her elective craft. By this I mean that she gravitates towards tricky arrangements of gaudy forms and challenging perceptual distortions but then proceeds to deliver what she sees with disarming frankness. She forces herself to look through layers of baroquely contorted 1970s glassware, for instance, or heavy-gauge plastic shopping bags with all the varying secondary reflections and refractions they engender and obligates herself to render contrastive surfaces of liquids and fruits and flora often trapped within a matrix of shadows and the irregular gridding of mesh receptacles. And yet these mind-boggling observational conundra are dispatched with no-nonsense, unflashy, almost homespun methodical paint application that bespeaks fidelity, honesty and presentness of mind.