Arline Fisch: Aquatic Bloom
June 9 – August 4, 2018
The Craft in America Center is pleased to present a solo exhibition of knitted metal sea creatures by pioneering artist Arline Fisch. For this installation, Fisch’s work will transform the Center into an oceanic aquarium with vibrant wire jellyfish floating through the space and a coral reef filling the window. The title of the exhibition refers to a group of jellyfish, i.e. a bloom. With Aquatic Bloom, Fisch is calling attention to the sheer majesty and beauty of our oceans and what we need to desperately protect.
With more than fifty years of mastery under her belt, Arline Fisch is one of the most respected jewelry makers and metalsmiths in the field. Fisch’s book Textile Techniques in Metal is a seminal text for jewelry experimentation. Her work melds jewelry, sculpture, and adornment techniques. Fisch incorporates various materials and textile processes by knitting, plaiting, and weaving in order to create her work. In addition to her blooms of jellyfish and other sea life, she has created collars, pectorals, and head ornaments on a monumental scale. Drawing from ancient civilizations such as Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and pre-Columbian, she weaves the ideas extracted from past cultures with contemporary concerns to create layers of visual meaning. With this body of work, Fisch continues her investigation of the ancient with jellyfish, the oldest multi-organ animals on the planet.
Fisch is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in Crafts from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, designation as a California Living Treasure, one of the first artist to be awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006, and multiple Fulbright fellowships to travel to Uruguay, Vienna, and Denmark. The artist received her BS from Skidmore College and MA from the University of Illinois. She has taught at Skidmore College, Wheaton College, and San Diego State University, where she founded SDSU’s jewelry program in 1961. She has been a trustee of the American Craft Council, a founding member and president of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, and a trustee of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and is represented in numerous collections and exhibitions around the world.