Artist Janet Fish is well known for her richly executed oil paintings and watercolors of glass, fruit, and flowers, through which she "captures the beauty of everyday objects." The true subject of her paintings, however, is the movement of light and color from one object to the other, and critics have continually praised her art, labeling it "beyond realism." The only previous monograph on her paintings, long out of print, is today a collector's item. Now, Abrams is proud to present this new and completely up-to-date survey of her work.
The introduction gives way to page after page of Janet Fish's beautiful and engaging paintings, filled with life and light, color and fascinating detail. In all, more than 100 works are reproduced in full color, including gorgeously outsize details and four gatefolds. An illustrated chronology as well as selected exhibition history and bibliography round out the book.
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At the confluence of minimalism, Pop art and photorealism, Fish arrived on the art scene in the late 60s with a kind of Pop nominalism of stark images of everyday objects (jars, fruit) that gleamed as if they were haloed in sunlight. The lavish plays of color and reflection she captured were balanced by a neat modesty of composition: water glasses on a window sill, Windex bottles against a creamy, Thiebaudian backdrop, peels of cellophane glistening. Quickly, however, the paintings became virtuosic to the point of clutter, with piles of flowers, fruits, toys, cut glass and leaded crystal sparkling over wrinkled tablecloths or mirrored surfaces, all rendered in a brilliant fauvist palette that fit the ornate subject matter like a glove. Orange Bowl and Yellow Apples (1980) is a riot of color, while Double Rainbow (1996) places Fish's familiar still life outdoors, against the backdrop of a sky that has just stopped its torrents of rain. With a mild essay by poet and art critic Katz, which offers a concise overview of the artist's progress from Yale to now, this large (but rather thin) catalogue captures the progress of a sharp-eyed painter from ambitious outbreak to long middle career of haute-bourgeois prosperity. As Katz says, "Her paintings of things can be seen as...beautiful objects that convey no message, that cause the mind to stop thinking and to contemplate the marvel before one's eyes."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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