Janet Fish invigorates the still life, both by the energetic way that she paints and the often witty and ironic combinations of objects that she depicts. Glass bowls overflowing with fruit, exotic vases filled with vibrant flowers, sumptuous textiles, and a variety of flea market finds are among the objects rendered in decisive yet fluid strokes of intensely colored paint. As her paintings show, light and color, volume and surface, and the flow of paint across the canvas are what absorb and captivate her.
Considered one of the most important still-life painters working today, Fish was born in Boston in 1938, and subsequently grew up amid the dazzling brightness and vibrant tropical colors of Bermuda, to which she attributes her lifelong fascination with the interplays of light and intense color inherent in her work. Fish attended Smith College in Massachusetts, where she earned a BA in 1960 before going on to earn an MFA from Yale University in 1963. Shortly after graduation, she moved to New York City, where she still maintains a studio. Since the 1980s, Fish has also lived and worked for at least part of the year in rural Vermont, glimpses of which can be seen throughout the artist’s elaborate still life arrangements from interior and exterior vantage points.
Fish has work in the collections of over one hundred museum and collections across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, both New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, MI; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.
She has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships including the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award and multiple awards from the National Academy of Design. She was elected as a National Academician of the National Academy in 1994.
Janet Fish is represented by DC Moore Gallery, New York.