The fine work that Andy Fleishman began in wood a few years ago now continues in cement. This seems almost impossible to imagine. Cement? Where would the fluidity come from, the delicacy of connection? At its best, Fleishman’s wood pieces seemed like corporealized music. I would regret the loss of wood.
When I saw the new work I realized what he had meant by all his magic talk of powder and water. The limit of wood is that you pare it down to whatever clear form you are capable of — hardly a limit at all. Cement, though, is not a carving into shape; it is a shaping outward into the wilds of your own mood and skill. These new pieces declare a joyfulness of form which is simply Fleishman’s release from size. In their humor and spiraling inventiveness they mock our notion of what cement is — playfulness is given a rare complexity.
The first time I saw this new work outside of Fleishman’s house, I experienced yard-dazzle. I thought: here I am in the hot, dry North Carolina countryside in a great white pavilion.
Wood and cement works by Andy Fleishman will be displayed at the Howard Monroe Gallery in Chapel Hill, N.C., Sept. 16-Oct. 12.
The photographs from this selection are available as a PDF only.