Eric Fischl emerged in the 1980s as one of America's most important figurative painters. His paintings, many of which show a single intense moment, compel the viewer to participate in a world of middle-class suburban ambiguity and drama. In Fischl's engaging distinctly American canvases, narrative, morality, sexuality, and psychology are preeminent.
This volume, an expanded edition of Eric Fischl 1970-2000, is the most comprehensive examination of this important contemporary painter. More than 250 works, selected in conjunction with the artist, present the full scope of Fischl's career: the formative work of the 1970s; the breakthrough paintings of the 1980s, including the controversial Sleepwalker and Bad Boy; and the mature work, often of a personal and contemplative nature, of the 1990s and 2000s. In his most recent paintings, Fischl has turned to multipiece cycles: The Bed, The Chair series, starting with The Philosopher's Chair; canvases inspired by trips to Italy and India; and the paintings—Fischl terms them "narrative fictions"—of the "Krefeld Project." These engrossing images have been accomplished with a mastery that has been compared to that of Caravaggio.
The introduction, by philosopher and critic Arthur C. Danto, offers a perceptive study of Fischl's work over the course of four decades. Commentary drawn from interviews with the artist, conducted by noted writer Robert Enright, accompanies the paintings. Finally, a witty and personal afterword by Steve Martin, best known as a gifted comic actor and author, but also an astute collector of modern art, discusses Barbeque, a famed Fischl painting from his private collection.
About the Author
Arthur C. Danto is the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation. He is the author of more than fifteen books, including Narration and Knowledge, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art, After the End of Art, The Abuse of Beauty, and most recently Unnatural Wonders: Essays from the Gap Between Art and Life.
Robert Enright is the senior contributing editor to Border Crossings magazine and the University Research Chair in Art Criticism at the University of Guelph. He has published a collection of interviews with contemporary artists in Peregrinations and has contributed essays to museum catalogs and other publications. In 2005, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.
Steve Martin is the famed American actor and writer. He is the author of Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Places, the novellas Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and the memoir Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life. He is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker.