Joan Fisher

Soho Center For Visual Artists

What the viewer saw in this showing of Joan Fisher’s recent paintings (part of a group show) were strikingly specific shapes boasting sharply defined, curvilinear silhouettes, contrapuntal linear infrastructures, and lush, light-sensitive surfaces. The works immediately impress as strong and lively arrangements of lines, planes, and colors. What the viewer senses, however, are “loaded landscapes” of the extra-formal, metaphorically charged kind pioneered by Wassily Kandinsky, Americanized by Marsden Hartley, and psychologized by the Surrealists. While different facets of the work of these artists are brought to mind by Fisher’s pictures, their combined presence hardly deflects the viewer’s recognition of the personal course that she has charted through the “loaded landscape”—which is, after all, a heavily trafficked terrain in 20th-century painting.

Last Leaf, 1982, like the other examples,

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