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Beverly Fishman | Design Milk

Untitled (Abortion, ADHD, Chronic Pain, ADHD, Anxiety, Birth Control), 2022,
Urethane paint on wood, 67 x 150 inches

"Something For The Pain" Will Make You Look at Your Meds in a New Light

By Kelly Beall

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.

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