William Campbell Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Hexton Contemporary,
opens a new exhibition by American artist Eric Fischl on June 2, 2018. The
exhibition spans the last five years of Fischl's work, with a particular focus
on the artist's exploration of new materials to reinterpret his iconic imagery.
Beginning in 2011, Eric Fischl began a collection of work that further explored
his collage practice from the late 70's and early 80's. Fischl first began
developing this new body of work in layers of clear acrylic resin, with figures
painted and/or printed onto clear acetates and then embedded within poured
layers of clear acrylic resin. Very few works were made utilizing this technique.
This exhibition at William Campbell Contemporary Art has brought together
some of the most important and rare works from this project.
More recently, Fischl began experimenting with figures painted and/or printed
onto loose mylars that are then pinned over a watercolor or oil painted
background. While both the resin worksand pinned mylar concepts emanate from
the same desire to reimagine his early collage process, each accomplishes
very different results.
The resin works were created around the time Fischl began exploring cast glass
sculpture. The resin works became a way to create collaged images in modern
materials that capture light in a similar way to glass, whereby light comes
into the work and projects back out of the work.
In the pinned mylars, Fischl was still interested in exploring how light passes
through translucent surfaces but wanted to break free from the rigid dimensions
of the resin process to create works which extend beyond the image plane. This
allowed the artist to let the images expand and overlap in a compositional
style similar to that of his iconic assembled canvases from the late 80's and
early 90's (an important example of such is featured in the Dallas
Contemporary's current Eric Fischl solo exhibition).
The William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibition marks both the first full-scale
gallery presentation of these new mylar works and the first time the complete
collection has been exhibited.
The exhibition also includes a recent large-format oil on chrome coat painting
from the artist's studio. Rarely exhibited, this work offers a singular and
defining look into Fischl's long-standing practice of figurative exploration.
"The relationship between the body and the person is riveting to watch," states
Fischl. "You can tell through body language how comfortable or insecure a
person is with themselves and others. Body language is like a window to the
soul. That is what I try to capture in my work."
Eric Fischl at William Campbell Contemporary Art will be up from June 2 through
July 28, 2018. For more information please contact William Campbell Contemporary Art.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Eric Fischl is an internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor.
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 was born in 1948 in New York City and 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.
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, MusÈe 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 film makers 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.