August 10 – October 14, 2012
In keeping with the Museum’s longstanding tradition of exhibiting artists of the region, Guild Hall celebrated East Ender Eric Fischl with an exhibition of 15 works created between 1983 and 2010. The included paintings demonstrated Fischl’s mastery of conjuring form and light from paint to communicate the psychological bearing of his subjects, many of whom are the artist’s friends and appear in complex gatherings of couples, families, or groups relaxing and mingling on beaches in the Hamptons, St. Tropez and St. Barts. In an interview with Bomb Magazine, Fischl says “My imagination is not about flights of fantasy. It’s really a process of discovering who I am…The body poses the biggest question for me. It’s a question itself. It’s all about needs and desires and union and oneness and aloneness. It’s all about the edges and boundaries of the flesh, the needs of the flesh. I’m trying to find out what my relationship to the body is, the comfort and discomfort, the appropriate and the inappropriate.”
The America: Now + Here portfolio was also a part of the Beach Life exhibition. The America: Now + Here Portfolio is a compilation of thirteen photographs, each a limited edition of 100 C-prints that are signed and numbered by some of America’s most respected artists, from Ralph Gibson to Sally Mann. It was conceived by Fischl in response to the aftermath of 9/11 to encourage and recognize artists who create new work exploring America’s people, places and ideas.
Eric Fischl was the recipient of the 1992 Guild Hall Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts, and his work was previously exhibited at Guild Hall in 1991. Fischl lives and works in Sag Harbor with his wife, painter April Gornik.