Andreas Fischer, who is Associate Professor at Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts, has concurrent shows of his latest paintings up right now at the Gahlberg Gallery at the College of DuPage and the Hyde Park Art Center. The Gahlberg Gallery show closes in two weeks (February 27th) so even though it may be a bit of a haul for those of us who live near Chicago, make a plan to get out there before it’s too late! Luckily, Fischer’s show at HPAC is up a little longer, through April 18th. These two exhibitions are comprised of related bodies of work, both of which I wrote about in the catalogue essay that accompanies them. Below is an excerpt from that text; I’m in the midst of a brain-squeezing allergy attack and can’t produce much in the way of original thought this morning, so this’ll have to do.
“In many ways, Andreas Fischer’s recent paintings can be understood as ghost stories told with paint. Each of his works attempts to represent imaginative experiences that cannot be conveyed linguistically, often by taking the form of something they are not, be it a faded archival photograph or a snapshot of a picturesque Montana landscape. Using paint to weave together the factual and the ineffable, Fischer provides us with information that cannot be confirmed by a source outside of the painting: meaning must be intuited via the paint itself. Fischer’s concurrent exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center and the Gahlberg Gallery at the College of Du Page consist of two separate but conceptually related groups of paintings: the first, titled Original Location, is a series of landscapes depicting various Montana settings, the second, titled Sunday Best, consists of portraits based on found tintype (also known as ferrotype) images of anonymous individuals dressed in 19thcentury-style attire.
Fischer draws on metaphors of historiography and the archive to explain how these two bodies of work relate to one another:
‘History often gets represented through a collection of fragments or an archive and it has been argued that what is important in archives is what is left out – what can’t be represented factually, actual experience in other words. Both parts of Ghost Town attempt to use painting to address this absence. Through material facts of paint these bodies of images attempt to extend beyond basic linguistic representation into broader experience. Both bodies of work are meant to mimic kinds of historical fragments. They pretend to document. More importantly, though,they attempt to use paint activity to tap into imaginative characteristics that make up subjective experience.’ “
I also highly recommend that you attend Andreas’ talk at the Hyde Park Art Center on Sunday, April 3rd at 3:00pm. He is so much fun to talk to: so curious, generous, and thoughtful — I enjoyed our studio visits tremendously and I can pretty much guarantee that this talk will not be a one-way lecture type thing. HPAC has billed it as “not your grandmother’s artist’s talk. Please come with plenty of questions and be ready to discuss painting techniques, research tips, points of interest and other spontaneous topics with Andreas.” Although when they were alive my own grandmothers wouldn’t have known what the heck an ‘artist’s talk’ was, much less given one, I do know they would have felt comfortable at Andreas’ because he is is so kind, generous and open with his own and other people’s musings on the subject of painting. Be there people!
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