Jean Fisher

Jean Fisher, Wrexham, UK, 1967. Photo: Tony Fisher.

JEAN FISHER had a knack for getting under the skin of art. Describing herself as “an artist who practices writing on contemporary art,” she was drawn to work that sparked momentary crises of recognition—and that, in turn, opened up new sources of ethical and political agency. The glitches that can arise when communication breaks down, the opacities and blind spots in our experiences of cultural difference, were particularly generative for the artistic strategies illuminated in her writing and teaching.

With a background in the life sciences, and having earned a degree in fine art from Newcastle University in 1977, Fisher had an incredibly broad knowledge base. But the catalyst for her unique critical voice was her years in New York in the 1980s. Contributing features to Artforum while teaching art at the State University of New York, Old Westbury, in a department run by Luis

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