Observable Universe - Matthew F Fisher

18 January - 22 February 2017 Taymour Grahne Gallery

Taymour Grahne Gallery is pleased to present Observable Universe, a solo exhibition of new works by Brooklyn-based artist Matthew F Fisher. Exploring notions of timelessness and nature, Fisher’s paintings are a meditation on the relationship between permanence and intransience.


Every attempt to produce that which shall be any rock, ends in the production of that which is no rock.
John Ruskin, Modern Painters, 1843


At times, the sky is bathed in a warm, rosy pink, at others, a cool blue, evocative of balmy nights in springtime. We are gazing out to sea, a moment of infinite stillness, where even the ripples of the waves seem to have slowed down. We are suspended in a moment, a sense of a floating before and after time. There are no people. There is no date. No marker of when this could be. There is just the sky and the sea and the long line of the horizon. There is the simple, immovable bulk of rock and the great orbs of the sun and moon. This is a timeless place. It is pristine yet primordial. It is modern yet ancient. It is all places at once.


Time is central to Fisher’s practice, a meditation on temporality. By repeatedly using certain visual elements, such as the seagull or waves, Fisher strips them of any prior associations and derives new meaning. The color palette he uses (reminiscent of the lush, peppy hues of the late 1980s and early 90s) is at odds with his stark two-dimensional painterly style. This merging and melding of elements creates a new visual language, and frees the works from any specific genre or date.


The new works represent a soft revolution, as Fisher’s intransient tableaux have taken a subtle nudge towards permanence. The waves, though frozen, will ultimately return to the sea, in the relentless ebb and flow of the tide. Rocks feel solid, present. Clouds fill the horizon, large and flat, gazing upon their own reflection in the sparkling sea below them. Stars sparkle in the water, reflections of the great, unshifting, timeless universe above. Perhaps the sun is not setting, but rather, rising. We are standing at the dawn of a new day.


Matthew F Fisher (b. 1976, Boston) received his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design (1998), followed by his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2000). He has been the recipient of residencies and awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2016), Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York (2015, 2007) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (2010), among others. Recent solo exhibitions include Sun, Stars, Sea and Moon, Airlock Gallery, San Marco, CA (2016) and Black Water Don’t Shine Like the Moon, Sardine, Brooklyn, NY (2015). Group shows include the two artist exhibition The World Outside, with Ryan Schneider, at Gordon Galleries, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA (2015) and Pro Forma: Context and Meaning in Abstraction, curated by Dr Vittorio Colaizzi, Work Release, Norfolk, VA (2017). Fisher’s work is in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.