Posted In: Exhibition Announcement on 10/6/2016
Alida Fish | Recent Work
September 29 - November 22, 2016
I have known Alida Fish for over 40 years, and have always been fond of her work.
There is a balance there that I have always been drawn to, between the art and the
craft of the photograph. They are like partners in a dance, that she choreographs with
such grace and good taste. She will tell you, as will her work, that she has always been
interested in fashioning a world of her own creation...I had one of those...it was under
my bed. Alida's elements of this world, seem to be drawn from museums of art, and
of natural history. Viewing an Alida Fish exhibition is a lot like visiting a cabinet of
curiosities, where great emphasis is placed on the wonder-filled, specimen-like
presence in her subjects. They seem to exist in a timeless vacuum, or as Alida would
have it, in a world of their own. This isolation, like peering into an Easter Egg diorama
is a very singular space, and is amplified by the technique used in their manufacture.
Alida used to do traditional tintypes, but that has now metamorphosed into oxidized
aluminum plates on which she transfers a photographic emulsion. The emulsion slips
off its paper, and settles onto the oxidized, textured surface of the plate. They defy
scanning as jpegs...the surfaces don't translate, so forget about viewing them on a
computer. They must be seen in the flesh, as it were. And, because of the many
variables involved in their fabrication, copies cannot be made, they are unique. A fact,
totally fitting and proper.
Alida's subjects are few in number but vast in variation. She is drawn to plant forms,
and seeds, insects, and sculptural details-especially friezes, whose body parts she
Concurrent with our virtual exhibition of her most recent work, Alida is part of a
group show at the Florence Griswold Museum, in Old Lyme, CT, titled, In Place:
Contemporary Photographers Envision a Museum. (October 1, 2016 - January 29,
2017) The photographers involved were invited, by curator Amy Kurtz Lansing, to
apply their artistic powers to the grounds, or to the collections of the museum itself.
Alida's choice was easy.
The William Metcalf Collection, housed at FGM in some 24 drawers, contains moths,
butterflies, bird's nests, and eggs. She found the nests and eggs in pretty good shape,
but, she told me, the insects were disintegrating and disappearing. Fortunately Alida
covets nothing more than decay...ashes to ashes, dust to dust...it's the way of the
Alida is starting to print these images on 20 x 24 aluminum plates, rather than her
usual 8 x 10's. Six of these new sized pictures are in the Florence Griswold Museum
show. They are the first 6 images on our website. They are available for sale through
us, along with the others on our website, but the Griswold pieces won't be available
until the show is over on January 29th.