The Inquirer on Louise Fishman: “The Power of Tiny Art”

Thomas Hine of The Philadelphia Inquirer discusses the miniature works that populate Louise Fishman’s show at ICA:

“The key works are, as the label puts it, “50 tiny paintings, all Untitled, 2010 and 2014.” Most of these are about three inches square in size, executed with a mixture of materials, including acrylic paint, wood collage, and sand. Some are on boards, but most are on stretched canvases, just like the larger works. They are not, as you might expect, quick little sketches or studies for larger works. Rather, each appears to be a well-considered and fully finished abstract painting.

Within each diminutive work, the artist’s vision is bold, sometimes dramatically gestural; at other times, an evocation of light or atmosphere. She can achieve effects at this scale with a directness and simplicity that would be harder to achieve on a larger canvas. Small bits of wood and pigment can make a dramatic impact on these little pictures.

They are seductive in part because Fishman’s work grows out of abstract expressionism, which was most often an art of big gestures on large canvases. Fishman’s tiny works are, in their way, bold statements. She shows us she doesn’t need to take up a whole wall to make her mark.“

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