Acclaimed for his dark depiction of the American suburbs, painter Eric Fischl sometimes positions artworks within his compositions as symbolic elements. This thematic catalogue brings them together, including more than 120 painting reproductions, and an interview with the artist by Dallas Contemporary Museum director Peter Doroshenko.
“I am one of the first generation artists who grew up in the suburbs. We grew up, post-WWII, in an ascendant America in which the suburbs was its utopian manifestation. We came into our art maturity painfully aware of the disconnection between what was promised and what was delivered.”—Eric Fischl
Eric Fischl is one of only a handful of contemporary painters who regularly, though by no means exclusively, employs sourced images, culled from the internet, newspapers, and magazines, to inform his paintings. The artist then adds his own photographs and blends a final ensemble of information and storytelling. No kings or generals or momentous battles move across Fischl's canvases, and most of his subjects are quotidian rather than grandiose—suburban bourgeois families, art world mongers and awkward social interactions. In his works, communication is nonexistent and boredom is pervasive.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Dallas Contemporary Museum, from April 12 to August 26, 2018.
Eric Fischl (born 1948 in New York City) is an internationally acclaimed American painter
, and illustrator
. His artwork is represented in many distinguished museums throughout the world and has been featured in over one thousand publications. His extraordinary achievements throughout his career have made him one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Fischl grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He began his art education in Phoenix, Arizona where his parents had moved in 1967. He attended Phoenix College and earned his B.F.A. from the California Institute for the Arts in 1972. He then spent some time in Chicago, where he worked as a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1974, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to teach painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Fischl had his first solo show, curated by Bruce W. Ferguson, at Dalhousie Art Gallery in Nova Scotia in 1975 before relocating to New York City in 1978.
Fischl's suburban upbringing provided him with a backdrop of alcoholism and a country club culture obsessed with image over content. His early work thus became focused on the rift between what was experienced and what could not be said. His first New York City solo show was at Edward Thorp Gallery in 1979, during a time when suburbia was not considered a legitimate genre for art. He first received critical attention for depicting the dark, disturbing undercurrents of mainstream American life
, with great psychological
Fischl's paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous solo and major group exhibitions and his work is represented in many museums, as well as prestigious private and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, Musée Beaubourg in Paris, The Paine Weber Collection, and many others. Fischl has collaborated with other artists and authors, including E.L. Doctorow, Allen Ginsberg, Jamaica Kincaid, Jerry Saltz and Frederic Tuten.
Eric Fischl is also the founder, President and lead curator for “America: Now and Here”. This multi-disciplinary exhibition of 150 of some of America's most celebrated visual artists, musicians, poets, playwrights, and filmmakers is designed to spark a national conversation about American identity through the arts. The project launched on May 5th, 2011 in Kansas City before traveling to Detroit and Chicago.
Eric Fischl is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife, the painter April Gornik.