Eric Fischl (1948- )
Date of Birth: March 9, 1948
Place of Birth: New York, United States of America
Occupation: Painter; Printmaker; Sculptor
Education: California Institute of the Arts, Valencia
“Untitled (Rays),” 1990
“Corrida in Ronda No. 6,” 2008
“Ten Breaths: Congress of Wits,” 2007
“Two Girls Dancing for L.R.” 2011
“Kneeling Woman,” 2012
“Art Fair: Booth #60 Shoot/Please (study),” 2014
“Tumbling Woman II Life-Size,” 2014
Eric Fischl is an American painter, printmaker and sculptor, best known for his early work featuring themes of adolescent sexuality. He is based in Sag Harbor in Long Island.
Eric Fischl was born into a cultured, bourgeois household in New York City in spring of 1948 and raised in the suburbs of Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1967, he moved to Arizona, uncomfortable in the atmosphere of alcoholism and image-consciousness pervading the society within which his family operated. He enrolled at the Phoenix College and briefly attended the Arizona State University before receiving acceptance from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1972.
After completing his formal education, Fischl moved to Chicago and found employment at the Museum of Contemporary Art working as a security guard. It was there that he discovered the work of Jim Nutt and Ed Paschke, members of the Chicago Imagists (also known as the Hairy Who) notorious for their borderline grotesque sexual undertones and surrealist tendencies.
In 1974, he was offered a faculty position in the Department of Painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he met his future wife, the landscape artist April Gornik. After four years of teaching, he returned to New York to concentrate on his own compositions, producing a series of canvases based on content considered unsuitable before his generation: graphic adolescent sexuality, as seen in 1979’s “Sleepwalker” and 1983’s “Birthday Boy.”
After the fall of the World Trade Center in 2011, Fischl exhibited “Tumbling Woman” for the first time to fierce public backlash. A number of viewers found the sculpture in bad taste, reminiscent of those who fell to their deaths during the terrorist attack, though the artist reacted against such a notion, citing his dismay at the lack of mourning for the people who lost their lives that day as opposed to the building itself. He returned to favor the following year with the Krefeld project, a series of paintings based on over 2,000 interior photographs of Haus Esters, designed by Mies van der Rohe to be a private home in 1928.
Most recently, Fischl has been developing a project conceived as a mobile art circus, using large trucks as traveling galleries to showcase about 60 pieces of visual art while making space for music stations and theater performances. Since 2000, he has lived in Sag Harbor with his wife, with whom he shares a studio.
1948 - Born in New York City
1972 - Graduates from the California Institute for the Arts
1974 - Becomes a faculty member at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
2013 - San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose
2012 - Mary Boone Gallery, New York
2011 - Skarstedt Gallery, New York
2011 - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2010 - Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga
2009 - Jablonka Galerie, Berlin
2007 - PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island
2006 - Heskin Contemporary, New York
2004 - MKgalerie, Rotterdam
2002 - Mary Ryan Gallery, New York
2000 - Gagosian Gallery, London
MUSEUMS / COLLECTIONS
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge
Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
BOOKS / PUBLICATIONS
“Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas” by Eric Fischl and Michael Stone
“Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting” by Harry Philbrick and Eric Fischl
“Eric Fischl” by Klaus Albrecht Schroder and Elsy Lahner
“Eric Fischl: 1970-2000” by Robert Enright and Arthur C. Danto
“Eric Fischl: Beach Paintings” by AM Homes and Eric Fischl