Louise Fishman; Pieter Saenredam

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LOUISE FISHMAN at Manny Silverman Gallery
PIETER SAENREDAM at The Getty Center

Primary colors seemingly do not appeal to her. Instead, rather earthy and muddy colors of surprising intensity make their appearance in painting after painting. And the feeling they convey is that of smoldering logs of wood, with intense heat behind a scorched dark surface. Working and reworking her canvasses, Louise Fishman literally scratches through layers of paint, until the final result is reminiscent of a wall of the Venetian Palazzo, seen through a microscope. There you have it. I found myself slowly warming up to the significant, but reticent charm of these canvasses.

After the recent disaster of the Julian Schnabel show at the Gagosian Gallery, the refined, thoughtful art of Louise Fishman comes as a welcome reminder of New York's vitality as an artistic breeding ground for a great number of good artists. Louise Fishman's exhibition at the Manny Silverman Gallery in West Hollywood proves that the good ol' art of painting is alive and well at the beginning of the new millennium. Long Live the King.

And as long as we are on the subject of the virtues of the art of painting, allow me to mention a very satisfying exhibition that opened recently at The Getty Center. 17th Century Dutch artist Pieter Saenredam is not as well known as the celebrated masters of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Rembrandt, Hals or Vermeer. Their art was concerned with the infinite complexity and contradiction of the human psyche. Pieter Saenredam chose a much more narrowly defined subject for his numerous paintings and drawings. And that is mostly of church interiors. As his successfully career progressed, he exclusively concentrated on the architectural subject. It is safe to say that no other artist, Dutch or otherwise, comes close to his achievement. First of all, he was the first to depict real instead of imaginary buildings, studying and meticulously documenting them first in precise drawings. Later, he would transform them into luminous paintings, allowing himself some liberties: slightly editing real space by simplifying it, moving architectural details, and adding human figures to convey scale. Every time, the artist succeeds in creating austere, and at the same time, sumptuous renditions of Protestant churches exuding poetic tranquility and demonstrating supernatural artistic craftsmanship which even today's practitioners of architecture, with all their mighty computers, can only dream about.

For more information please contact the gallery:

Louise Fishman
April 20 - June 1, 2002
Manny Silverman Gallery
619 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-8256

Pieter Saenredam
The Sacred Spaces of Pieter Saenredam
April 16 - July 7, 2002

J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive Suite 400
Los Angeles
(310) 440-7360