Cranbrook painting professor beverly fishman (left) is not shy when it comes to color. I had been suspicious of the cranbrook palette for some time now and if you have ever been to a cranbrook student show then you might have seen some commonality when it comes to the bright, at times neon, colors. At first seeing fishman's works I wondered if her sensibility had leaked out onto the students' works but after a few minutes of casually looking around the gallery, fishman pleasantly introduced herself to me. I cannot stress how much I love when artists are accessible and NICE. Being a mysterious, crude artist is never becoming. After talking about the benefits of the LA art scene and her downtown LA studio that she sadly had to just give up, I brought up her paintings and her influence on the cranbrook painters. She assured me that she encourages students to test the limits...try new things and she never wants students to be swept away by her art practice. I could tell just be speaking with her for a few minutes that she is a very encouraging teacher. She had me sold by the end of the conversation on moving to LA!
As far as the work goes I had mixed feelings upon entering the show. It wasn't a matter of the painting not working but a matter of taste. I can confidentially say that I left enjoying the scorching, honeycomb and text textured paintings. The title of the show "chromophilia" is summed up by the gallery as an adjective for fishman's addiction to color and the medical definition, " the property possessed by most cells of staining readily with appropriate dyes." Within the silkscreen, silkscreened vinyl and collage on powder-coated metal are strands of nonsensical text that read as sort of a DNA formula. Also in the neon, computerized patterns are pharmaceutical symbols and other simplified medical graphics.
All in all....great show to see and discuss/critique with your friends.