It is extremely interesting to watch an artist's work develop over many years, which has been my privilege as the friend and partner of the artist Susan Fishgold. You see each piece emerge like a triumph, a new chance for the world, one of a kind. Then another, each work matching or exceeding the one before, building a very full story over the years, but always you are involved with, in love with, the current work.
Fishgold works in an unusual, highly praised technique she has developed called layered monotype, in which translucent glazes of color are hand-printed, and then overprinted, onto paper or canvas, then worked into with brush, pencil, crayon and other media. The result is a free but very controlled application of color and texture that she uses to portray the "visual and spiritual rhythms of color as the expression of the movement within form, the life under the skin of the image." Her works are very much about the relationships of colors, shown by her tendency to work in series; she often creates the same image several times but with differing colors on an individual work or on different works in a series. One critic called her "a swashbuckler of color."
Fishgold's imagery is based on, but abstracted from, forms in nature, such as branches, shells, leaves and flowers, focusing on the gestural nature of these forms as an illustration of spirit. Of equal interest in her works are the negative spaces, the areas in the composition where the object of the painting is not. Fishgold's negative spaces are like a great stage actor who is "always working", creating and expressing; even when another character is saying the lines. Her negative spaces are composed of lithe, active wafts of immateriality, in which she actually paints air or, more accurately, atmosphere. She has been building a consistent and coherent body of work throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, which continues to grow in refinement and reach.
NIGHT, published by Anton Perrich, Number 36, 1997