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Isabelle Fein - Illusions and Ideas

For her exhibition at Fort Gansevoort, Isabelle Fein will present a selection of original works throughout both floors of the gallery space. This will be the German’s artist’s first solo exhibition in North America. Fein’s work ranges from small-scale drawings in colored pencil or ink on paper to larger oil paintings on board and canvas.

Fein, born in 1973, started establishing her dreamy, melancholy visual vocabulary at a young age. She was raised by her father who worked as a caretaker in an elderly home, gathering trinkets and memories people left behind. The young Fein carefully studied these personal effects and imagined the stories behind them.

The artist works in an improvisational style. “A work starts with some blots and brush marks and later develops into a scenery or situation,” she states. With this free flow of imagination, she blurs the line between reality and dreams in her works, which often have a sense of tranquility and solitude. There is also an unfinished painterly quality to her work, which allows for subjective interpretation. Viewers can imprint their own personal experiences on her works, creating a space without any boundaries.

The ethereal qualities of Fein's work are reminiscent of Marc Chagall, one of the modern masters of 20th century art, who mined his memory and imagination to create works in which people, places and objects reflect emotional association rather than distinct pictorial elements. Her rejection of formal composition also reminds one of Chagall.

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