'Freedom of Emptiness' by Matthew F Fisher courtesy of the artist and Ochi Projects.

‘Seas’ by Matthew F Fisher @ Ochi Projects

July 2, 2021

Pictures do not do justice to the fastidiousness of Mr. Fisher’s new exhibition Seas at Ochi Projects. The minute yet impeccably mastered compositions – most are painted under one and a half square feet – have one confident theme: the sea and its arrival to shore. One might imagine the subject matter to be derivative, as if the countless other artists who have felt enthused to capture immemorially what pervades the Planet have not accomplished sufficient evidence of its natural beauty. Yet Mr. Fisher’s treatment is one which takes care to aim for a distillation of the concept of sea.

 

Yes, water appears. But there is also the life forms and the buttressed sands which complement our idea of a day at the beach. These do not appear redundant in their imagery, in that, this is not an attempt at still-life. This is no realism, but a daydream of the simplicity of that vital color and its further vital counterparts. We need, for instance, a horizon, to complete our concept of what is true. And it is thrilling to see how gently yet masterly Mr. Fisher is in his composition of this most basic of representations of the aquarian.

 

He does not tire in his manifestations within each piece. Settling with a simple white form of the horizon provides the artist the opportunity to explore his imagination with what are necessary attributes: waves, sand, and stars. The real challenge, then, is in how many ways he can portray the blue which saturates our idea of the sea. This exhibition itself is a worthy study of gradient in color – there is a bounty of blue characteristic of each work. And stupendously, Mr. Fisher does not disappoint in his obsession with creating novelty.

‘Natural Law’ (2021) 6″x8″ acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Ochi Projects.

And this novelty is most extensive in the titles to his pieces. Helping to separate the compositions from one another, the artworks are cleverly awarded significance of wordless ideas which promote a sense of the permanent which is demonstrative of water’s ostensible infinitude on the planet – being a substance which has been Earthly for billions of years; truly out of the reach any human mind’s ability to conceive. Natural Law and Act of History, for instance, give us a clear sense of the geometrical magnitude and certainty of the sea. Elsewhere, By the Father’s Side, reverberates this same sense of paternal certainty and its unobstructive sense of fortification demonstrative in the piece’s clamshell on the shoreline – and its harmlessness from ruinous shackling – as a testimony to peace of mind being shaped by fatherly love; perhaps benefacted by an Eternal Creator?

 

‘By The Father’s Side’ (2021) 9″x11″ acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Ochi Projects.

Regardless, it is a joy to behold such an abundance of perspective on what can certainly be a permanent relation of our place on Earth.

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