After Gary Paige’s introduction, Beverly Fishman discusses her work in terms of feminism, representations of the body in medical imagery, ideas of beauty and ugliness, and exterior and interior.
She discusses her latex, wood and wire wall sculptures at Yale, subsequent wall sculptures in foam rubber, and then in chicken wire. They became increasingly aggressive and dense. For Fishman, they raise the question, “When is enough enough?”
She describes shifting her focus in the mid-1980s, in a series of large drawings, in which the sculptures became models for drawings. While abstract, the works also referenced medical imagery.
Fishman surveys a series of collage-drawings that combine hand-made elements with Xerox (or, subsequently, laser printer) elements. She says she wanted, “a fused, multi-layered image that was moving and changing.”
By the early 1990s, in the height of the AIDS crisis, the collage-drawings became more evocative of bodies on the cellular level. “I wanted them to speak about painting and I wanted them to speak about the world. … The cell addresses the body without representing it.”
Fishman concludes with a survey of her most recent works, circles and ellipses that shift away from ugliness and fragmentation, in hallucinatory, eye-popping colors, referencing cells, cellular structures, division and mutation.