A.M. Homes: In your earlier work, a little boy showed up in various incarnations, and then around the time of the India paintings he disappeared. What happened to him?
Eric Fischl: I haven’t been able to go back to him. I mean, he is gone.
EF: He grew up. He got past the outrage of a child’s psyche when what they’re promised and what they’re given aren’t the same thing. You know what I’m saying, right?
AH: Yes, I do.
EF: We’d all love to find something that gives us fertile ground and makes us famous that we could do for the rest of our lives and that we’d still be good at doing all the way along. But what happened psychologically and emotionally for me was that the early paintings looked up into the adult world, literally, from the point of view of a child: The planes were tilted, the scale was larger than life. At some point after going through the emotional stuff, reliving, reexperiencing, and expressing that emotional discomfort that was there as a child, it was like clockwork. The plane came down, the gaze became eye level, became a one-to-one relationship, it had nothing to do with becoming happy or those kinds of things.
AH: That’s good to know. (laughter)
EF: I just started to see it in a more ambiguous way. An adult can accept that situations can be ambiguous, you can have multiple feelings, multiple relationships to the same thing.
Text Excerpt: A portion of an ‘Artists in Conversation’ interview of Eric Fischl by A.M. Homes, published in BOMB, Winter 1995. For the full text, click here.
Image Credit: Eric Fischl. Sleepwalker, 1979. Oil on canvas, 69 x 105 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Disturbing Innocence, curated by Eric Fischl, opens Saturday, October 25, 2014, at The FLAG Art Foundation. For more information, click here. Included within the catalogue accompanying the exhibition is “A Real Doll” a short story by A.M. Homes. For more information about Homes, click here.
In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into representation.
Socrates: Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other; or, if he have a mind to laugh at the soul which comes from below into the light, there will be more reason in this than in the laugh which greets him who returns from above out of the light into the den.
Image Credits Eric Fischl. Art Fair: Booth #15 OOF, 2014. Oil on Linen, 68 x 82 inches.
Text Citation: Top: Guy Debord. The Society of the Spectacle. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. New York: Zone Books, 1994. For the full text, click here. Bottom: Plato.”The Simile of the Cave.” Republic. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. 240-48. Print. For the full text, click here.
Disturbing Innocence, curated by Eric Fishl, opens Saturday, October 25, 2014, at The FLAG Art Foundation. For more information, click here.
Going out onto the dark lawn he smelled chrysanthemums or marigolds — some stubborn autumnal fragrance — on the night air, strong as gas. Looking overhead he saw that the stars had come out, but why should he seem to see Andromeda, Cepheus, and Cassiopeia? What had become of the constellations of midsummer? He began to cry.
Text Citation: Cheever, John. “The Swimmer.” The New Yorker. July 18, 1964, Vol. 40 Issue 22, p28. For the full story, click here.
Image Credit: Top: An installation view of Ann Craven’s 2006 eponymous solo exhibition, on view at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc., from November 13 - December 21, 2006. Bottom: Vija Celmins. Night Sky #16, 2000-01. Oil on linen mounted on wood 31 x 38 inches. Celmins was included in FLAG’s inaugural exhibition Attention to Detail, curated by Chuck Close, on view from January 5 - August 1, 2008. For more information, click here.
hi·jab (n.) (Arabic) \hē-ˈjäb, -ˈjab\: the traditional covering for the hair and neck that is worn by Muslim women.
"The Hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women in the presence of men they are not closely related to, divnk, ides opinion both in Muslim countries and in secular countries which Muslims call home. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Shia Islam has become the very raison d’être of the current state following the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the wearing of an approved form of head covering for women is relatively strictly enforced, regardless of the level of religious observance a woman may adhere to at home. So called Basij, or members of the ‘Organization for Mobilization of the Oppressed’, a volunteer citizens militia, roam the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, monitoring religious observance and clamping down on such illegal activities as fraternizing between unmarried couples and the ownership of satellite dishes.”
Image Credits: Top: Hossein Fatemi. Yalda, 2013. Digital print. Bottom: Hossein Fatemi. Negar, 2013. Digital Print. Images courtesy the artist. For more information on Fatemi, click here.
In the second chapter of his book Symbolic Logic (1892), C.L Dodgson, whose everlasting name is Lewis Carroll, wrote that the universe consists of things which can be ordered by classes and that one of these is the class of the impossible. He gave as an example the class of things which weigh more than a ton and that a boy is able to levitate. If they don’t exist, if they were not part of our happiness, we would say that the books of Alice [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)] correspond to this category. In effect, how to conceive a work that is not less delightful and inviting than The Arabian Nights and that is likewise a plot of paradoxes of logical and metaphysical order? Alice dreams of the Red King, who is dreaming of her, and someone warns her that if the King awakens, she will go out like a candle, because she is no more than a dream of the King that she is dreaming. In regard to this reciprocal dream that well could have no end, Martin Gardner recalls a certain fat woman, who painted a thin female painter, who painted a fat female painter that painted a thin female painter, and so on to infinity.
The layers of meaning embedded in representations of the human form and the complex relationship between the dialectics of the viewer and the object are at the core of the works in a Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection. The exhibition takes its name from Secret Affair (Gold), 2007, a stainless-steel sculpture by the Scottish artist Jim Lambie comprising the outline of an oversized keyhole placed incongruously in the landscape on the grounds of Laguna Gloria. In this work, a simple framing device becomes an Alice in Wonderland portal to a secret garden, an irresistible invitation to what lies beyond and a metaphor for the infinite possibilities that exist between the corporeal and the abstract.
Text Citation: Top: An excerpt from Jorge Luis Borges’s preface to the Spanish translation of the works of Lewis Carroll’s (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) published in 1976. For more, click here. Bottom: An excerpt from “The Subversive Body,” an essay by Heather Pesanti, included in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection, on view at The Contemporary Austin from May 3 – August 24, 2014. For more information, click here.
Image Credits: Left: Installation view of Jim Lambie’s Secret Affair, 2008, at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland. Right: Installation view of Jim Lambie’s Secret Affair (in the trees), 2007, part of the exhibition Reconstruction #2, Sudeley Castle, Cheltenham, United Kingdom.
Paul Laster: Let’s talk about some of your heroes that are celebrated in the show, starting historically with Marcel Duchamp. Why is he important to you and how would you explain the way that you are paying homage?
Awol Erizku: Duchamp is the Master and Hammons is the Godfather. I find Duchamp important because I find Hammons very important. Duchamp and Hammons worked with found objects or everyday objects to create visual puns. In doing so, they ask the viewer to question the intention of the work. For example, Duchamp’s ready-mades shocked the art world, putting in question to whether these objects were even “art.” Hammons employs a similar technique of using found objects; but he also wants the viewer to question the connotations of these objects in the context of race and class. These themes are visible in many of my works in The Only Way Is Up.
I pay homage to both artists, directly, in two different works. First, an installation of jerseys hanging on a rack, titled Duchamp, Marcel 1887; Simpson, Lorna, 1960; Outterbridge, John 1933; Hammons, David 1943; Judd, Donald 1928; Marshall, Kerry James 1955; Storr, Rob 1950; Wilson, Fred 1954; Prince, Richard 1949, 2014, which includes the last names of artists that have influenced me most silkscreened on the back of the shirts, in a similar motif of a sports jersey with the abbreviated year they were born.
I also silk screened canvases, Hammons, David 1943, 2014 and Duchamp, Marcel 1887, 2014 in the same sports jersey motif with the names and birth years of Duchamp and Hammons. This group of artists represents my “team,” from which I believe I have received the most influence and support. They are my idols and deserve recognition for what they have contributed to my artistic growth.
Hammons was my window to Duchamp. Hammons made Duchamp really cool for me. Found objects and ready-mades are now a major part of my art practice. I walk around New York City looking for anything and everything that can be a part of my sculptures. I never go out with the intention of looking for something specific, but always recognize it when I see it. It is an intuitive process.
Text Excerpt: A portion of ‘Awol Erizku: The Only Way Is Up,’ an interview of Awol Erizku by Paul Laster, published in Whitehot Magazine, July 2014. For the full article, click here,
Erizku was recently included in DEEP END: Yale MFA Photography Thesis Exhibition, curated by Roe Ethridge, on view at the FLAG Art Foundation from June 5 – June 20, 2014. For information on DEEP END, click here.
Genevieve Gaignard (b. 1981) is an artist living and working in Wendell, MA. She received an MFA in photography from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT in 2014, and a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA in 2007. Gaignard has been included in recent group exhibitions, including Deep End: Yale MFA Photography Thesis Exhibition, curated by Roe Ethridge, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2014); Deep End: Yale MFA Photography Thesis Exhibition, curated by Fumi Ishino and Hannah Price, Green Hall Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2014); 13 Artists: Yale’s First All-Black Art Show, Yale University, New Haven, CT (2014); among others. Gaignard has recently been featured New York Magazine and ‘In The Air,’ Blouin ARTINFO. For links to Gaignard’s video work, click here.
Gaignard was included in DEEP END: Yale MFA Photography Thesis Exhibition, curated by Roe Ethridge, on view at the FLAG Art Foundation from June 5 – June 20, 2014. For information on DEEP END, click here. Gaignard’s work is DEEP END: YALE MFA PHOTO 2014, curated by Awol Erizku, on view at Diane Rosenstein Fine Art, LA, from July 19 – August 23, 2014. For more information, click here.
Image Credits: Top: Genevieve Gaignard. Installation view from DEEP END, Green Hall Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, CT. Bottom: Genevieve Gaignard. The “Birds and the Beez” Wedge Boot, 2013/2014. Glitter with soil, silk flowers, foam objects, 10 ½ x 9 x 5 ½ inches.
a living world of each color
My taste defiantly tends to drift to more archaic objects because they capture the spirit of a person long-gone and there is a mystery to looking at an object that derives from a distant set of aesthetic priorities. A lot of my interests are based in very old and basic traditions. I’m more genuinely intrigued with what people can do with techniques of inventiveness of making something out of nothing. I prefer keeping the evidence of the handmade apparent in my work as a means to capture my own spirit. I fell if you so that genuinely there is always a chance you will potentially capture the spirit of the times around you.
After having gone through several periods, my research has led me to paint unified monochrome pictures. My canvases are therefore covered by one or several layers of a single color after a certain preparation of the support and using various technical procedures. No drawing is visible, no variation in hue; there is nothing but the UNITY of a single color. The dominant invades the entire picture, as it were. In this way I seek to individualize the color, because I have come to believe that there is a living world of each color and I express these worlds. My paintings, moreover, represent an idea of absolute unity in perfect serenity; an abstract idea represented abstractly, which has made me rank myself with the abstract painters. But I hasten to point out to you that the abstractionists do not understand it this way and they reproach me, among other things, for refusing to provoke relations between colors. I think that the color “yellow,” for example, is quite sufficient in itself to render an atmosphere and a climate “beyond the thinkable”; what is more, the nuances of yellow are infinite, leaving the possibility to interpret it in many different ways.
For me, each nuance of a color is in some way an individual, a being who is not only from the same race as the base color, but who definitely possesses a distinct character and personal soul.… Nuances can be gentle, evil, violent, majestic, vulgar, calm, etc. In sum, each nuance of each color is definitely a “presence,” a living being, an active force which is born and dies after having lived a sort of drama of the life of colors.
Text Citation: Top: An excerpt of an interview between Nicola Trezzi & Anya Kielar, include in: Trezzi, Nicola, “Portrait of a Lady.” In Anya Kielar: Women. Exhibition Catalogue, New York: Rachel Uffner Gallery with Picturebox, 2012. Bottom: An excerpt of a text by Yves Klein, distributed at the first public exhibition of Yves Peintures, Club des Solitaires, Paris, France (1955). For more information, click here.
Image Credits: Left: Anya Kielar. Purple Nose, 2010. Masonite board, mixed media, paint, sand, 34 x 21 x 5 inches. Courtesy of Rachel Uffner Gallery and Anya Kielar. Right: Yves Klein. Piège bleu pour lignes (S 17), 1957, 14 x 6.4 x 5.7 cm.
Kielar’s work is included in East Side to the West Side on view at FLAG from June 26 – August 15, 2014. For more information, click here.
His life was not confining and the delight he took in this observation could not be explained by its suggestion of escape. He seemed to see, with a cartographer’s eye, that string of swimming pools, that quasi-subterranean stream that curved across the county. He had made a discovery, a contribution to modern geography; he would name the stream Lucinda after his wife. He was not a practical joker nor was he a fool but he was determinedly original and had a vague and modest idea of himself as a legendary figure. The day was beautiful and it seemed to him that a long swim might enlarge and celebrate its beauty.
Image Credit: Spread, Ed Ruscha, Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass, 1968, printed 1976.
Text Citation: Cheever, John. “The Swimmer.” The New Yorker. July 18, 1964, Vol. 40 Issue 22, p28. For the full story, click here.
WALL ROCKETS: Contemporary Artists and Ed Ruscha, curated by Lisa Dennison, was on view at FLAG from October 3 – April 18, 2009. For more information, click here.