Critics’ Picks

View of “Kim Fisher,” 2014.

View of “Kim Fisher,” 2014.


Kim Fisher

The Modern Institute
14-20 Osborne Street
February 8–March 22, 2014

Reflecting on the Los Angeles environment and culture, and its gradual and consistent transformation, Kim Fisher’s new paintings and large printed works on paper draw on her observations of the effect that heat and time have on materials within the intense climate where she lives and works. Applying oil paint with an airbrush onto areas of deeply dyed black linen canvas, Fisher creates shapes and imagery that seem to be scraps of pages from magazines and newspapers. In Magazine Painting (Faded Cream), 2013, some of these fragments appear torn and faded from the sun. In others, the artist uncannily creates deceptive textures and surfaces, including sandpaper, blurred photographs, or the pages of a notebook. A few paintings, such as Aluminum #10 (Vertical Tear), 2014, incorporate jagged pieces of aluminum adhered to the canvas, with parts jutting beyond its edges.

The four printed paper works—neither titled, dated, nor noted in any of the exhibition’s materials—resemble large strips of paper ripped from billboards. Upon closer inspection, the images appear to be taken from magazines—the blue sky or a satellite view of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere—that were scanned and greatly enlarged, creating pixelation. Each is placed askew around the space. One hangs from the ceiling to the floor, another on the wall behind two paintings, and the others high up, close to the ceiling.

Fisher invited Glasgow-based artist and writer Arron Sands to create a work titled Et in alio loco natare gaudeamus, 2013. Text has been scratched by hand onto an old fire bell (alluding to the oppressive LA heat), which is hung within the exhibition space. The title beckons, “Come rejoice and float in another place,” as a four stanza poem unfolds circularly around the surface of the bell.