About the Photographer
American, b. 1948 Phoenix, AZ
Eric Fischl is an internationally renowned painter and sculptor. His photo collage in the collection of the MoCP, entitled The Gang (2006), features a photograph of Fischl’s wife and is one of many photo collages Fischl created from his photographs of the beach after visiting Saint-Tropez, France, in the 1980s. Fischl’s paintings and photo collages alike concentrate on the human figure and contain a sense of spatial awkwardness that serves as a metaphor for the difficult and delicate balance of emotional interdependence and psychological isolation in intimate relationships.
Fischl founded and is the lead curator for the traveling exhibition America: Now and Here, featuring work by 150 of the country’s most prominent artists of various disciplines. The exhibition opened on May 5, 2011, in Kansas City, MO, with plans to continue as a cross-country traveling museum and performance space comprised of six 18-wheeler trucks. The goal of the exhibition is to open a dialogue about American identity through art in communities across the country, including more remote places out of reach of mainstream art venues and city centers. A portfolio entitled America: Now and Here was published in 2009 in conjunction with the exhibition. The portfolio contains thirteen prints, including Fischl's The Gang, as well as works by artists Lyle Ashton Harris, Ross Bleckner, Chuck Close, Ralph Gibson, April Gornik, Sally Mann, Vik Muniz, Lou Reed, David Salle, Andres Serrano, Laurie Simmons, and Bill Viola.
Eric Fischl was born in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He attended Phoenix College in Arizona and completed a BFA at the California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, CA, in 1972. He then moved to Chicago, where he worked as a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art and was exposed to the work of painters Jim Nutt and Ed Paschke. Fischl accepted a teaching position at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada, in 1974 before moving back to New York City in 1978. Fischl’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; Museum of Modern Art, New York City; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; St. Louis Art Museum, MO; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; and Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France. Fischl is a Senior Critic at the New York Academy of Art and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY, with his wife, painter April Gornik.