October 6, 2015
Capsule Concern
Chrysler Museum
Arte Fuse, 10/06/2015
Amanda Acosta


Capsule Concern
Chrysler Museum
Arte Fuse, 10/06/2015
Amanda Acosta

On view at the recently renovated Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA – Beverly Fishman recreates a makeshift pharm party within the museum’s interior. Among the continued strain of interpretations on pill-based art, Fishman’s In Sickness and In Health chases the biting sensation medication elicits in the viewer. Blown to massive scale, reduced to their stark forms and injected with electrifying reflective color Fishman’s pills mirror the extreme selling tactics of the medical industry while simultaneously causing the viewer to reflect back on their own engagement with the trade.

Immediately entering into the glass gallery, we’re seduced by a glowing ringed red bar, its sections fading into itself, barely interrupted by paling blues. A candy-coated multicolored representation of (Anxiety, Depression, Panic), we begin to fade in front of it, forced to stare at our own chemically altered selves in the urethane-coated wood.Untitled, as are the majority of Fishman’s little helpers, precedes the wall label’s parenthesis prescription allowing museum goers, to take turns listing the series of pills we understand to ease these pains.

Thus a shift from definite blame on those that market these methods to a certain shame occurs as one names the (Pain Reliever) Oxy or Hydro, the former Xanax, and spots Adderall in the glass Mini Spill so readily. However minimalist in form, this familiarity with pill figures and branding coalesce into what experts in trademark law dub an “element of the medication that was not functional in its original design [which] begins to serve a purpose over time.”

Therefore pieces from Fishman’s Pharmeko series, modeled after drugs such as Valium and Prandin stamped with insignias, prolong abstraction as they immediately register to our own iconography of pill branding, which gained popularity in the 1960’s era of recognizable simplicity.

By infusing such a stark style with a critique of the pill marketing industry and subsequently its consumers, Fishman advances the modernist aesthetic of detachment to one of contemporary concerns. In Sickness and In Health satisfies our visual craving only to disappoint the physical. The notion of railing powder is exchanged with grinded glass, but that bite is similar, upsetting our own prescribed, but more often, recreational decision to ingest.

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January 17, 2017
Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah, 01/17/2017

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will host the art exhibition Globalocation: Celebrating 20 Years of Artnauts, Jan. 20-March 3.

Artnauts, an art collective formed 20 years ago by George Rivera, professor of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, consists of 300 global artists who serve as goodwill ambassadors, acknowledging and supporting victims of oppression worldwide. Their creativity has generated over 230 exhibitions across five continents. Five faculty members from the U’s Department of Art and Art History are members of the collective, Sandy Brunvand, Beth Krensky, V. Kim Martinez, Brian Snapp and Xi Zhang.

Globalocation derives from “Globalocational Art” — a concept used by the Artnauts to refer to their exhibitions in international venues. It is the mission of the Artnauts to take art to places of contention, and this anniversary exhibition is a sample of places where they have been and themes they have addressed.

“The Artnauts could not exist without the commitment of the artists in the collective to a common vision of the transformative power of art,” said Rivera. “The Artnauts make their contribution with art that hopefully generates a dialogue with an international community on subjects that are sometimes difficult to raise.”

Krensky, associate department chair of the Art and Art History Department, had the opportunity to travel with Rivera in Chile as part of an Artnauts project, working with mothers who were searching for their children who had mysteriously disappeared during a time of political unrest.

“When I travelled to Chile in 1998, George and I spent an afternoon with the Mothers of the Disappeared, and the meeting changed my life,” said Krensky. “It was from that moment on that I placed a picture of them on my desk to look at every day. I was so moved by what they each had lost — a son, a brother, a father — and yet what remained for them was a deep, deep well of love. They were fierce warriors and stood up to the government to demand the whereabouts and information of the people who had disappeared, but they lived within profound love.”

The 20th anniversary exhibition at the Marriott Library is a retrospective of the traveling works the Artnauts have toured around the globe. The exhibition will be located on level three of the library. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Friday, Jan 20, 4-6 p.m. Rivera will speak at 4 p.m.

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