John Yau reviews Julia Fish: Threshold at David Nolan Gallery, New York, on view through April 25, 2015.
Yau writes: "[Judith Russi] Kirshner gets to the heart of Fish’s paintings when she advances that the artist’s 'close focus allows her subjects to become unhinged from their referents, to become inexplicable.' I would further advance that in reaching the 'inexplicable,' Fish exposes most realism as a devolution into a style, demonstrating that close looking – which she shares with such artists as Dan Douke, Peter Dreher, Catherine Murphy and Sylvia Plimack-Mangold – can supersede style (or branding) and become both an examination and a translation of attention. It is this quality of scrutiny – of looking with such focused intensity that the commonplace things in the world become mysterious – that I find compelling. Fish is able to revisit the familiar in paint so that it moves closer to its original state of incomprehensibility."