6 June 2020 – 11 October 2020

Eric Fischl

Hastings Contemporary presents historic and new work from the internationally acclaimed American artist, Eric Fischl, the first solo public gallery show in the UK of Fischl’s work since 1985.

One of the most significant figurative painters of the late 20th/early 21st centuries, Eric Fischl often finds inspiration close to water – be it suburban poolsides, the ocean, or lakeside views – and this survey will elucidate the significance of the beach as a recurring setting in Fischl’s work from the 1980’s to the present.

A pivotal theme, Fischl’s beaches play with multiple real and metaphorical boundaries, finding edgeways in between unfulfilled desires and fleeting intentions and setting the stage for poignant, and often provocative, human dramas. As Fischl explains, “The beach is a boundary, a border. It is, metaphorically, the edge of where we came from and cannot return. What better place to set dramas that deal with the disappointment of pleasure, the impossibility of sustained union, the public display of the sensual body?”

This show forms a dynamic pendant to our summer exhibition, Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach 1910-1960.

Eric Fischl was born in New York in 1948. He graduated from the California Institute of Arts in Valencia in 1972 and was a teacher between 1974 and 1978 at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. 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 has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held in international institutions including the Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas in 2018; Albertina, Vienna in 2014; the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Malaga in 2010; the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover in 2007-2008; the Stadtkirche Darmstadt in 2006 and the Delaware Center of Contemporary Art in 2006. His work has also been included in exhibitions in major institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée Beaubourg, Paris; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Eric Fischl is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the American Academy of Arts and Science. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife, the painter April Gornik.


Cover image: Eric Fischl, A Brief History of North Africa, 1985, oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist and Skarstedt Gallery.

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