8.5 x 11 inches (21.59 x 27.94 cm.)
58 pages. Illustrated in color throughout. Hardcover.
Publication Date: May 2016
Retail Price $30 USD
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Published on the occasion of the exhibition Rift Raft, this catalogue features full plate images and details of works from Eric Fischl’s new body of work. The catalogue also features an essay, Eric Fischl: The Art of Narrative by Tim Adams.
In Rift Raft, Eric Fischl further develops his study of human nature by confronting the viewer with the reality and ultimate disconnect between art and the environment in which it is situated.
Both intrigued and appalled by the concept, Fischl began to visit fairs to observe the crowd, taking his camera with him to capture snapshots of the characters that roam the booths. The figures Fischl paints are not portraits, rather they represent archetypes of the people at fairs: the shrewd dealers in suits, the eccentric art fans, the wearied group sitting by the refreshments area, almost all of them engrossed in their cell phones. Fischl observes: “Same crowd, different clothes. Always the same experience.”
While Fischl’s paintings appear satirical, they are only partially so. They are essentially tragic comedies in which people's desires and needs are thwarted by a system incapable of satisfying their deepest cravings. These works are not a "comment" on the art world but an existential condition most clearly articulated by the art world's irreconcilable conflict between spiritual and commercial values.