Artist Beverly Fishman has had the same focus throughout her decades-long career – abstract investigations of disease, identity, and medicine. Over the past 20 years, she’s leaned further into the latter, particularly the promises of pharmaceutical cures. Her collection of sculptural paintings – Something For The Pain – is currently on exhibit at Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City. This is Fishman’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, which will be on view through June 3rd, exploring the concept of polypharmacy, or the prescription of multiple medicines to one individual.
In Something For The Pain, the artist uses urethane neons that glow and matte geometric forms of wood to illustrate an individual’s unique prescription cocktail. These elements are stacked into compositions that include some complete shapes and others partial to represent whole and partial doses. In the collection, Fishman has used parenthetical titles to indicate each ailment being treated.
Overall the sculptural paintings give off a happy vibe, only becoming a bit unsettling once the inspiration and titles are revealed. Seemingly floating, their edges are slightly beveled towards the wall where the neon undersides reflect an artificial glow. Fishman’s Something For The Pain will likely leave you with more questions about Big Pharma and the medications you’re taking for your own well-being.
The Detroit-based artist has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at The Contemporary Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, Michigan; Walter Storms Galerie, Munich, Germany; Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, California; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, New York; Library Street Collective, Detroit, Michigan; Ronchini Gallery, London, United Kingdom; and the CUE Art Foundation, New York, New York, among others.
Untitled (Abortion, Abortion, Anxiety, Depression), 2023 \ Urethane paint on wood, 45 x 41 1/2 inches, 114.3 x 105.4 cm
Untitled (Abortion, Anxiety, Anxiety, Depression, Epilepsy), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 42 1/2 x 73 inches,
108 x 185.4 cm
Untitled (Abortion, Depression, Abortion), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 65 x 56 1/4 inches, 165.1 x 142.9 cm
Untitled (Alcoholism, Anxiety, Depression, Abortion), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 48 x 118 inches, 121.9 x 299.7 cm
Untitled (Abortion, Depression, Depression), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 45 x 42 inches, 114.3 x 106.7 cm
Untitled (Birth Control, Abortion, Birth Control, Birth Control, Pain), 2023 / Urethane paint on wood, 48 x 117 inches, 121.9 x 297.2 cm
Untitled (Abortion, Opioid Addiction, Panic Disorder, Birth Control), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 44 x 44 1/2 inches, 111.8 x 113 cm
Untitled (Depression, Depression, ADHD, Diabetes), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 43 x 41 1/4 inches, 109.2 x 105.1 cm
Untitled (GERD, Parkinson’s, Depression, Insomnia), 2023 \ Urethane paint on wood, 44 1/4 x 82 3/4 inches, 112.4 x 210.2 cm
Untitled (Insomnia, Anxiety, Osteoporosis, Anxiety, Muscle Spasm), 2023 \ Urethane paint on wood, 45 x 45 inches, 114.3 x 114.3 cm
Untitled (High Blood Pressure, Depression, Depression, Abortion, Anxiety), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 48 x 120 inches, 121.9 x 304.8 cm
Untitled (Insomnia, Weight Loss, Insomnia, Opioid Addiction, Birth Control), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 44 x 80 inches, 111.8 x 203.2 cm
Untitled (Migraine, ADHD, Pain, Pain), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 44 x 43 5/8 inches, 111.8 x 110.8 cm
Untitled (Missing Doses, Abortion, Abortion, Anxiety, Depression), 2023 \ Urethane paint on wood
Untitled (Osteoporosis, Abortion, Depression, Anxiety, Birth Control), 2022 \ Urethane paint on wood, 44 x 40 inches, 111.8 x 101.6 cm
To learn more, or to see Something For The Pain in person before June 3, 2023, visit milesmcenery.com.
Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.