Opening reception: Friday, September 14, 7 to 9pm.
Artist Talk: Sunday, September 23rd, 2 to 4pm
Coalesce began from a place of intense grief. Having suddenly lost my father, I needed to find a way to continue to draw and paint. Not having the capacity to plan out more complex compositions, I decided to invite individuals–some models, some friends, some both–to come and pose with little direction from myself. This became a liberating exercise in empathy, resulting in figures that still retain the qualities of portraiture.
The toned paper drawings began as preliminary work but soon evolved into their own pieces. Gradually the white charcoal came to dominate, and I began to recognize a developing metaphor in the work. The light coalescing into form and dissolving into a colored field where shadows are sparse, if not all together eliminated, resonated with my struggle to grapple with mortality. Unlike the stark line between light and shadow in western religious paintings of the past, this suggested to me a continuum of being. Perhaps this came from some transcendent place, making known in art what I do not understand in any other context. Perhaps this was simply my way of consoling myself. Perhaps both. In any case it is what the work demanded.
Although the paintings began with the same approach to subjects as the drawings, finding an analogous visual metaphor in paint posed difficult challenges. This resulted in a great deal of experimentation and a body of work full of subtle stylistic evolution. What binds the paintings together is a shared appreciation for the subjects.
Like the figures in white charcoal, Coalesce is a documentation of becoming. It is not the result of conclusions drawn, but an intimate act of creation. It is not a static conceptual framework, but an exploration at the borders of my self knowledge. I think of this exhibition not as a noun, but as a verb, and encourage the viewer to do so as well.
Miguel Carter-Fisher is a contemporary figurative painter currently based in the city of his birth, Richmond, Virginia. His interest in the arts began as a child and was nurtured by his father, the painter Bill Fisher. By the age of 14 he had become determined to pursue painting as a career. At 18 he moved to Connecticut in pursuit of rigorous training, where he studied both painting and philosophy at the University of Hartford. After graduating he moved to Brooklyn to attend the New York Academy of Art. There he studied traditional drawing, painting, and composition techniques. After graduate school he worked as a studio assistant and employee of Soho Art Materials, where he educated artists, collectors, and galleries on diverse methods and materials of painting. In 2014 Miguel returned to Richmond, where he has taught privately, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Bon Air Juvenile Corrections Center through Art 180, and and currently Milk River Arts, Virginia State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Miguel’s work has been exhibited at various galleries in New York, Virginia, and abroad. In Richmond he is represented by Eric Schindler Gallery.