Andreas Fischer: And apologies for bringing this up

Saturday, Jan 9 – Feb 20, 2021

319 N. Albany
Chicago, Il 60612

Goldfinch is proud to present Andreas Fischer: And apologies for bringing this up in Gallery 1. This is Fischer’s first solo exhibition with the Gallery.

Fischer’s most recent paintings continue his exploration of the dynamics of power as they occur in the realms of sex, politics, race, as well as in romantic relationships. Although Fischer paints what he knows–or rather, he paints from the subject position with which he is most familiar: that of a white male person–there is no valorization of that subjectivity, only a sense of confusion and visual dislocation. Fischer’s paintings never tell us what to do, think, or feel, and importantly they may even shy away from dictating for us what exactly it is we’re seeing. “One of the things I think about consistently,” Fischer notes, “is who each one of us is in our given social, racial, and gender-based structures – maybe I could just say the structures that we create and reinforce for ourselves and others – and how we are permitted to operate within those. I hope that some part of this range might create an entry point depending on who a viewer sees themselves as next to the paintings.”

Fischer’s At first they knew. Later they forgot., for example, depicts a group of figures collectively lifting up a bluish, somewhat amorphous object that may to some viewers suggest a coffin or a body bag, and something altogether different to others. Likewise, the figures holding up the object exist in a filmy, dream-like space that can’t be pinned to a specific reality but instead evokes the fragmentary images of a dream. In another painting titled The Interruption, we see eight nude figures whose bodies are veiled or cloaked by some sort of translucent material that could be robes, light beams, or something else that corresponds to the painting’s material reality rather than our own. The central figure has her head turned to the side, looking towards but not directly at the viewer, leading us to wonder: who or what is creating the interruption?

“I like the idea that someone looking at the work might want to take it apart and put it back together again,” Fischer explains, “especially if there is a need for that to happen over and over. I want that for all of my paintings, partly because I think we might live in a world where we are encouraged to consume things by putting them together once, maybe not even fully, and move on.”

In Fischer’s paintings bodies are often distorted in some fashion: heads in particular appear elasticized, swollen, or distended, like balloons either filled with or depleted of air, and figures are situated in abstracted backgrounds, unmoored from any specific historical time or place.

“Distortion is another one of those fundamental things I am just fascinated by and can’t ever shake,” says Fischer. “It is fundamental in a political way. There is the way things are supposed to be – we can either accept that or push back. Although as a person I have some compulsions toward the idea that certain things are supposed to be a certain way sometimes, in a more general sense I have always believed that ‘the way things are supposed to be’ as a kind of status is hugely problematic. … There is a tension I think in my work between ‘the way things are supposed to be’ and the push-back of distortion.”

The exhibition is on view from January 9 through February 20, 2021. An online viewing room will open to the public on January 9, and gallery visits are available by appointment.