Magazine article Artforum International

Rhona Hoffman Gallery. (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

Rhona Hoffman Gallery. (Reviews)

Article excerpt

JULIA FISH

During the past ten years, Julia Fish has created paintings and works on paper based almost exclusively on her immediate physical environment. Depicting snippets of sky viewed in different seasons through her studio window, isolating the grids on the siding of a nearby house, or rendering the mosaic tile pattern on the threshold of her doorway, these works teetered between abstraction and representation. Fish offered her household and studio as an inventory of particularized incidents, suggesting ineffable poetry in the thoughtful isolation of things she sees every day. Her work evokes a kind of domestic abstraction, a personal, intriguing type of genre painting that seems purposefully to avoid narrative or intimate revelation.

In a suite of ten gouaches on paper, "[drawings for] Living Rooms," 2002, the artist has attempted to transcribe faithfully "the structural description and floor plan of the living area of my home" at a one-to-twelve scale. Rendered in narrow parallel stripes of mottled warm orange peach tones that resemble the color and shape of floorboards, these studies provide a deadpan view of the physiognomy of her home yet are nonetheless filled with wonder. Taking views of the rooms of her house from above, Fish ignored the walls, doors and closets, making her gouaches into variegated polyquadratic designs that rest on white backgrounds with surprising formal elegance. The form in South West--one, for example, has no fewer than thirty-four sides, and trying to puzzle out the architectural causes of its multiple exterior perambulations becomes an exercise in its own right. …

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