Wednesday, August 17, 2016

RACHEL FISCHER at Brick Haus Collective

Blue Tic
2016 repost of my article.

Denton has been an inspiration to generations of artists in the DFW area. UNT’s art department has helped to guide so many of them through a path of self-discovery. Unfortunately, outside the University, the city of Denton has been a limited space for the visual arts. The city has a nice art center, but the commercial end hasn’t really grown around the university. Sure, collectives and individual artists come and go, but nothing has really stuck. Hopefully, the Brick Haus Collective will be an exception. One of the founding members of this collective is Rachel Fischer. Last year, she left UNT with an Master of Fine Arts, but instead of jetting out of town she stayed to create something for the Denton art scene. Fischer was at UNT as an undergraduate while I was getting my MFA at the university. She was mainly painting figures, and when she started her MFA I visited her studio to see where she was going with her work. At that time she was still focused on the body, but parts were being concealed. Hints of her sculptural work to come where taking shape.

Fischer is still focused on the body, but now in more abstract forms. Her sculptures and her paintings focus on simplifications of form. A kind of Post-Minimal/Post-Feminist hybrid art that plays with sexual cues while also giving you a wink and a nod that her work is playful. Don’t stress over these objects. Think Eva Hesse meets Judy Chicago, loaded with a great deal of West Coast style of art. Fischer’s work would fit in an LA gallery, easily. Her work has that West Coast feel of freedom and flashiness. Her choice of colors and materials makes her sculptures humorous, a little scary, and a few pieces use the fetish painting style which achieves an edible look.

A piece like Blue Tic is a good example of the fetish paint applied to a sculpture. Think of those high gloss cars or motorcycles with paint that seems to shine, glow, and change in shade as you walk by the object. Little black bumps appear on the front and two long tails poke out the end of this strange, but attractive creature. Don’t get me wrong, through all the light hearted fun, Fischer is a little dark. Keep looking and you will find the subtle dark undertones. I like the ambiguity, because the more you look at her work, the more complex they become. You start to realize that these things are much more than just play and fun, but in reality, she is mixing of some ugliness in each piece to get a deeper story.

A little over a week ago, the artist Fischer was included in a spectacular group show curated by Howard Sherman at Rudolph Blume Fine Art/Artscan Gallery down in Houston. Soon, she will be showing at Mountain View College. Of course, she can be found at Brick Haus Collective in Denton and next year, down at Box 13 in Houston. I look forward to seeing a lot more of Rachel Fischer’s art in the future.

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