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Louise Fishman, “Serenissima” (2012), oil on linen, 70 x 88 inches. Collection Jan and Barry Zubrow, New Jersey (courtesy Cheim & Read, New York)

At age 77, Louise Fishman, one of America’s most important women artists, will enjoy her first career retrospective, organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, from April 3 to July 31, 2016. It has been a long time coming. Fishman, whose work embraces the Abstract Expressionist tradition but reinvents it, has long fought for the meaningful recognition that Neuberger Museum of Art Chief Curator Helaine Posner believes has eluded many women artists because of sexism and other cultural biases. Posner believes this exhibition reflects Fishman’s finest hour: “She’s at the top of her game.”

Louise Fishman: A Retrospective features over 50 works, created by the artist from 1968 through 2015. This exhibition traces the course and development of Fishman’s career, featuring early hard-edged grid paintings of the late 1960s, feminist-inspired woven-and-stitched works, and the explosive Angry Paintings of the 1970s. It also includes Remembrance and Renewal works made in response to a transformative visit to Auschwitz and Terezin in 1988, culminating in the calligraphic and gestural abstractions for which she is widely known.

Throughout it all, Fishman experimented with style and medium, yet she ultimately remained true to abstraction, employing a thicket of brush strokes that are dynamic, bold, energetic, passionate, and intensely physical. “My paintings are very athletic, very musical; they’re architectural,” the artist recently explained. “Feminism taught me I could do anything.”

Louise Fishman: A Retrospective is on display at the Neuberger Museum of Art (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, New York) from April 3 to July 31, 2016.

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