Eric Fischl, ‘On the Beach – 4’, 2016, Hexton Gallery

“I’ve found there is a difference between a painting of one person, two people, or a painting of three or more people. Each one puts the viewer in a very different relationship to the scene, to meaning, and to self. A painting of just one person really is a one-to-one relationship. You have to ask how that person is establishing a relationship with you: is he confronting you or turning away, is he luring you? When you have two people the viewer can be involved as a third participant, but oftentimes it’s the interaction
between the two in which the viewer becomes a voyeur. You’re witnessing their intimacy. Three or more people become a social dynamic. It can be social within a family framework or literally social in which the view takes a more removed position, like watching people on the street; you’re just one of many.”

About Eric Fischl

Neo-expressionist painter Eric Fischl achieved recognition in the 1980s for his figurative paintings exploring suburban adolescent sexuality, as in Sleepwalker (1979), which depicts a boy hunched over in a plastic pool, masturbating. His work commonly exposes the dark, disturbing undercurrents of American life; his unconventional 9/11 memorial sculpture, Tumbling Woman (2001), was removed from public view amid controversy. Fischl is also the founder of the “America: Now and Here” project, a mobile museum and performance space that will tour the U.S. for two years.

American, b. 1948, New York, New York, based in Sag Harbor, New York