Ashley Popp visits SOHO20 Member Artist Lisa Fischetti in her New Jersey studio to discuss space, geometry, and Lisa’s recent work.
Ashley Popp: Your last exhibit explored the window and its influence on how we observe space. What are you working on in your new show?
Lisa Fischetti: This new work is in response to the divide we are witnessing and living in, both in our country and around the world. This show is about instability, decent values we take for granted coming apart, losing the edges of what we know.
It is following up on my last work from the group show, that explored peeling layers from the surface, exposing its vulnerability, but now the surface is becoming unraveled, splintered and divided. In that way, this series is a little more personal.
AP: So you feel vulnerable in the political state we’re in?
LF: For everyone, I can’t fathom how we as a country could have allowed Trump to happen.
AP: You are primarily working with square canvases. Why did you choose this shape?
LF: I like the square, there is a non direction to it. I think about things on a grid. That comes from my background in architecture- everything is based on the structural grid.
AP: Grids are a theoretical model of architectural space, is the grid the manifestation of the built environment in your work?
LF: It’s the way I like to organize space and planes. I start with the grid, but it doesn’t have to be dominate. It’s a way to find the center, and then to move away from it. If you think about the earth, we have our lines of longitude and latitude – everything keeps changing within it, but we still have these axes to hold the order together. So, I start there, then break away at it.
AP: What drew you to the grid?
LF: I came from a mathematics background, so I like the logic of numbers. I love playing with numbers – I lie in bed and think about organizing numbers. That’s why I like the grid, it’s an organizational tool.
AP: How does the grid function in your new work?
LF: In this series you have to start with something solid and stable, in order to disassemble it.
AP: There is a subtle violence in your work. Is this destructive force a response to the constraints you encounter in the architectural world?
LF: Maybe, all I know is I’m enjoying the destructive part of these pieces. There’s something so visceral about letting the surface tear, and not caring; to be able to start with a sense of order and then slash at it and tear it apart. The process is really gratifying.