Los Angeles

Mark Fisher

Cowie Galleries

Boston born, pupil of Innes, Fisher (1841–1923) studied at Gleyre’s atelier and was an acquaintance of the Impressionists and American expatriates later in England. At seventy-eight, full membership in the Royal Academy came to him, the sole American so honored, by virtue, one concludes, of his venerable acceptability.

Handily he reveals his sources in the Innes scraped blur and the broken “wet” stroke of the 19th-century landscape schools originated by Constable. Though in the midst of the milieu, Fisher conceived of Impressionism as the proliferation of unfinished value studies, placing him closer to Homer than Monet. In the major canvases he appears less concerned with light or atmosphere than with a mood of self-satisfaction in deep focus and fluttering contrasting masses. Recalling Monet and Renoir’s creations on their confrontations with the Riviera, Fisher’s “Italian Countryside” supplies a bare descriptive commentary. Only “Outside of Town” breaks with the color clichés of his own limited palette in presenting a deeply felt interpretation of purple edged, creditable distance.

In an excursion into footnote resurrection we find rustic domesticity and quiet contentment.

Fidel A. Danieli