Label Text: Janet Fish is fascinated by the play of light on ordinary objects such as dishware, wrappers, and fruit. She stresses that “the real structure of the painting comes from the movement of color and light.” For the opportunity to heighten the effects of light and color, Fish will skew reality. She favors the energy of gestural strokes over a static, photographic likeness.
In "A.M.," raw eggs and shells, butter, and a juiced orange bask in dazzling sunshine. Fish set this breakfast table not for plausibility, but for each object’s interaction with light. To fully explore layered translucencies, she serves the viewer uncooked egg yolks and “whites” in clear glass. A whole stick of butter occupies center stage, dressed in
a reflective metallic wrapper flaunting virtuosic folds and crinkles. The subject of this print is not “breakfast,” but “morning light.” The effect is a flood of joyous warmth.
Studying at Yale in the 1960s, Janet Fish absorbed the Abstract Expressionists’ gestural approach and color theory. But she could not embrace their strict abstraction. Instead, like Pop Artists, she incorporated commonplace objects, commercial imagery, and exuberant colors into a “fine art” medium. Fish began to develop her own distinctive reinvention of the still-life tradition as part of a movement rejecting abstraction in the 1970s.