Exhibit Explores the Intangibility of our Memories

February 27, 2019 | By Phoebe Lummis

Childs Gallery, an art gallery located on Newbury Street, is currently exhibiting “In the Memory Palace,” a unique collection of nineteen paintings by artist Andrew Fish which examine the intangibility of our memories. Fish’s work questions the integrity of both our memories and the visuals we take in, as his paintings reflect the fluid nature of the imagery we encounter and recognition techniques we employ.

Fish’s chosen medium for “In the Memory Palace” is paint, yet his motifs are often inspired by digital photography. Stylistically, Fish’s work is categorized by nonspecific and undetailed figures, which prompt viewers to utilize “memory palace,” or special recognition, in order to connect with the imagery. Through this specific mnemonic technique, Fish calls upon his viewer’s memory at a time in which imagery is continuously edited with the help of technology.


Photos Courtesy of Childs Gallery

As stated in the exhibit’s press release, the concept of a “memory palace” was first established in Ancient Greece, where the poet Simonides visualized the seating place of dinner guests at a party in order to identify their remains after a roof collapsed. Fish’s implementation of vague figures, especially apparent in pieces such as “Radial Ground,” “Flood,” and “Neighbors,” allows his viewers to craft their own interpretations of his work through the utilization of memory palace. In “Between Trees,” for example, two silhouetted figures are depicted sitting beneath an assemblage of trees. Like the other pieces in the exhibit, Fish keeps the figures and their surroundings abstract, allowing his viewers to relate to the imagery however they feel most fit. However, while the individual takeaways from Fish’s collection are surely unique, his placement of the figures within their specified environments guide trains of thought, relating the interpretation to the spatial composition of the work.


A critic’s pick in The Boston Globe, Andrew Fish’s “In the Memory Palace” has brought a great deal of foot traffic to Childs Gallery. In speaking with curators at the gallery, Fish’s exhibit has been immensely popular among Bostonians. Additionally, due to the exhibit’s accessible location and free admission, it is unsurprising that it has received a large number of viewers. The exhibit is on display at Childs Gallery until March 10, 2019.