At Grimm/Rosenfeld, Shishkin will exhibit her first cycle of large drawings as well as a new suite of hand-colored lithographs published by Columbia University.
Where earlier works have employed a hit-you-all-at-once composition reminiscent of the violent, fantastical and carnivorous worlds of Bosch or Bruegel, W.A.M. is a distillation of previous themes in her work, rendering more immediate, palpable feelings of loneliness and isolation, love at large, discomforts and jealousies resulting from age and the beauty of women.
This show, in addition to addressing conceptual questions regarding fragmentation and movement in drawing, is one that is principally preoccupied with the emotional complications of the contemporary world: marginalization, alienation from community, and feeling unmoored in an increasingly bizarre reality.
Recurring ideas in the drawings include a Dark Romantic spin on the death industry where undertakers sell dead people who are more beautiful than their clients’ own dearly departed. Like an escort service where the beautiful date is meant to assuage emptiness or ugliness, the artist compares the acts in these drawings to the ”`sophistication’ of having kidney stones carved into refined shapes to suggest magnificence even in malady”.
In another large drawing, a group of young people re-fashion Rembrandt’s famous painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. In Shishkin’s psycho-sexually morbid game of “doctor”, wonder is perpetuated through dismemberment.
Traditional printing techniques are an essential part of Shishkin’s art practice. For W.A.M., Shishkin offers a new suite of hand-colored lithographs for consideration. In the work Hideous Potato, Missed Terribly, With Likes and No Hate, a corpulent cherub with sphincters for eyes and mouth seems to spew blood and urine across nine irregularly shaped prints, where a retreating cavalry of figures makes its way through a very tricky scene.