I hoped things had changed by the eighties.

Painters On Paintings

LF ART CATALOGLouise Fishman, Me and Joe, 1981, Oil on linen, 19 x 32 inches

In my memory the painting is titled, “Me and Joe.” It is small, maybe ten by fourteen inches.

I am looking at the painting from behind the backs of several classmates who stand clustered around it. Not only am I trying to be invisible but I am also trying to hide how much I like the painting. It is circa 1983 and not close enough to my graduation from Pratt Institute to make me feel like I can survive. Graduation is so far away. I have considered dropping out. What is the point in going to art school, anyway?

The artist whose painting we are looking at is Louise Fishman. She has invited her painting class to her studio in what was still, just barely, the meatpacking district on Manhattan’s West Side. I hadn’t wanted to…

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3 thoughts on “Margaret Atkinson on Louise Fishman

  1. I already commented on the site that published this piece originally. As I wrote there, not only do I love the writing and the subtle, heart-breaking content, but I also love both the paintings here–by Fishman and by Atkinson. Really, the whole sit-on-the-floor silently makes me feel a surge of muffled physical violence. Like, just push the guy down, on the ground, gently, right? Congratulations to M. Atkinson for all three things included here, finding the Fishman, writing the piece, and painting the painting.


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