American, born 1938
Oil on canvas
52 x 38 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Friends of the Wichita Art Museum, Endowment Fund
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
The oil painting Englishtown dates from the decades of the 1970s when Fish had achieved a mature style and emerged as a leading artist in the revival of representational subject matter, a movement labeled New Realism. The qualifier “New” was used to suggest that the realists of the post-abstract expressionist period were more conscious of formalist motives than their predecessors of the 1930s and ‘40s who also focused upon social content.
Janet Fish applied the heroic scale and the gestural brushwork of the New York School to representational objects. She said of her stylistic motivations, “I was coming out of abstract expressionistic ideas and I started blowing the things up. Making a painting using that solid illusion … [using] the movement of light and paint…was counting for me.” A certain Pop Art sensibility was also evident in her selection, not of elegant glassware, but of cheap mass-produced glassware for the focus for her 70s’ studies of translucent surfaces. Fish found the glassware featured in this painting in a flea market in Englishtown, New Jersey.