Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) June 22, 2012
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) presents major works by figurative painter Eric Fischl, an internationally acclaimed artist known for his representational painting focusing on the American suburban experience and the language of human bodies. Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting, on view June 29 – September 30, explores Fischl’s rigorous and iterative creative process and encourages viewers to see the world through his eyes, with sharpened powers of observation and insight.
Fischl was a central figure in the painting renaissance of the 1980s, achieving prominence with suburban scenes, often with connotations of transgression and of social privilege. The artist recalls, “I was trained as a painter, but in a conceptual environment, so painting wasn’t a focus. You had to learn it on your own, and the emphasis wasn’t really on technique so much as on process. It was at a time when painting was considered dead...but the good part of it was you had to constantly argue why painting wasn’t dead, it made you stronger.”
Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting showcases 145 works of art, including 50 working photographs and 14 paintings from 1979 to the present. The exhibition is accompanied by a constellation of related studies in various media, most of which have never before been made available for public viewing and provide a revealing look into the painter’s provocative visual intelligence. Together these works illustrate Fischl’s process as a synthesis of astute observation and interpretation.
“This exhibition is a chance to explore the particulars of seeing and the mystique of painting,” says Harry Philbrick, The Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum. “It is an intimate look at two sides of the creative process, the artist’s and ours, as viewers.”
Eric Fischl’s paintings have chronicled certain sections of American society for more than thirty years. He laboriously made clay maquettes, photographed them, and then used the photographs as the basis for sketches that became studies for a painting. Fischl has also used figures from photographs by Thomas Eakins that are part of PAFA’s permanent collection as the subjects of some of his works.
Fischl has now adopted Photoshop, fully integrating technology into his hybrid processes, adding and removing figures before arriving at his final composition. The exhibition will reveal how the artist’s compositional process has moved from the canvas to computer, while the process of execution – the act of painting – remains central to what makes his work unique.
Dive Deep: Eric Fischl and the Process of Painting is an exhibition collaboratively developed by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the San Jose Museum of Art. The exhibition is co-curated by PAFA’s Edna S. Tuttle- man Director of the Museum, Harry Philbrick, and SJMA’s Associate Curator, Jodi Throckmorton.
Press Preview: Wednesday, June 27, 2:30pm (Eric Fischl will attend).
Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is America's first school of fine arts and museum. A recipient of the 2005 National Medal of Arts presented by the President of the United States, PAFA is a recognized leader in fine arts education. Nearly every major American artist has taught, studied, or exhibited at the Academy. The institution's world-class collection of American art continues to grow and provides what only a few other art institutions in the world offer: the rare combination of an outstanding museum and an extraordinary faculty known for its commitment to students and for the stature and quality of its artistic work.