Friday, March 9, 2012

Eric Fischl

The Mary Boone Gallery is presenting a exhibition of Eric Fischl's paintings in its SoHo and midtown galleries.

I'm not a huge fan of Fischl and the show did little to change my view: too many pieces seemed garish (too much orange), carelessly drawn, and devoid of psychological insight. But maybe I'm missing the point. After all, his work is about celebrity culture. The Soho show was better than the midtown one but still, there were few pieces that I liked.

Perhaps the New York Times said it best:
When the experience of art goes well, there is a kind of social contract in effect between artist and viewer that produces what you might call reciprocal empathy. As a viewer, you feel you are in on whatever problems the artist is working on. This can happen in conservative or avant-gardist terms, and the issues can be technical, psychological or philosophical.

But you know that the artist is doing his best to make himself clear to himself and, in turn, to you, the average, reasonably intelligent viewer. A sense of spiritual kinship emerges. When the experience goes badly, the viewer is made to feel dumb, uncool, tricked, morally deficient, politically incorrect or excluded from whatever social circle the artist is speaking to and for.
Worth seeing though. I have to admit that the paintings looked better in person than online, particularly the simpler compositions with extreme value contrasts. Just like Caravaggio. The show closes on March 17.

Portrait of a Couple: Steve and Anne in LA
Oil on linen
70 x 86 inches

The Clemente Family
Oil on linen
69 x 86 inches

Oil on linen
52 x 38 inches

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