Eric Fischl

Eric Fischl

American artist
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Eric Fischl
  2. Early Works and Themes
  3. The Creifeld Project and Comparisons to Degas
  4. The Controversy of "Falling Woman"

Biography of Eric Fischl

Eric Fischl is an American artist and sculptor born in 1948 in Long Island, New York. In 1967, his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. He received his initial art education at the College of Phoenix and continued his studies at Arizona State University and the California Institute of the Arts, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1972.

In 1974, Fischl taught a painting course at the College of Art and Design in New Scotia, where he met the beautiful artist April Gornik. They returned to New York in 1978 and later got married. Fischl lived and worked in New York with his wife, who was a landscape artist, sharing a home and studio. He also worked as a senior critic at the New York Academy of Art.

Early Works and Themes

Some of Fischl's early works explore themes of youthful sexuality and voyeurism. Paintings such as "Lunatic" (1979) depict a young boy masturbating in a child's bathroom. "Bad Boy" (1981) and "Birthday" (1983) show young boys looking at adult women in provocative and sexually explicit poses. Fischl's paintings often hint at incestuous relationships and incorporate humorous allusions, such as a bunch of bananas in the foreground. His work combines irony with dark pathos, evoking a sense of mystery and inviting viewers to decipher the meaning behind each detail.

The Creifeld Project and Comparisons to Degas

In 2002, Fischl collaborated with the Haus Esters Museum in Krefeld, Germany, organizing several exhibitions. He transformed part of the museum into a living space, hiring models to simulate family life for several days. Fischl took over 2,000 photographs, some of which he used as the basis for a series of paintings. One notable work from this project is the monumental "Krefeld Project, Bedroom 6 (Overcoming the Intended Fall)" (2004), which was purchased by Paul Allen. In 2006, Fischl's paintings, along with Degas pastels, were exhibited in the Double Take Exhibit at the Experience Music Project. Fischl's works have often been compared to those of Degas for their ability to capture poignant situations with subtlety and leave viewers contemplating their meaning.

The Controversy of "Falling Woman"

In New York, Fischl's sculpture "Falling Woman" was banned from display. The sculpture, depicting a nude woman upside down and seemingly frozen in mid-fall, was exhibited in the Rockefeller Center. However, it was removed shortly after its installation due to numerous complaints from visitors who found it emotionally distressing. The decision to close the sculpture was announced by Rockefeller Center spokesperson Susan Halpin, who stated that it was not the intention of the installation to upset or offend anyone. Despite the controversy, many acknowledged it as a fitting tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks and a powerful representation of grief. Fischl himself expressed disappointment with the repressive measures taken against his work, emphasizing that his sculpture aimed to convey sincere respect and deep sympathy for the vulnerability of human existence.