Julie L. Belcove profiles painter Erich Fischl about his work on the occasion of the exhibition Eric Fischl: Friends, Lovers and other Constellations at the Albertina, Vienna, on view through May 18, 2014.
In the show, Belcove reports, "there are plenty of nudes and high-tension scenes among the nearly 90 works. For Fischl, the body represents 'exposure, vulnerability, essence . . . need, desire, longing, insecurity'... His oil sketches on chrome coat paper 'are freer, more direct than my paintings are', he says. 'Maybe less psychological than my paintings are.' There’s a spontaneity to the drawings that, he says, 'I’ve never been able to scale up' to canvas-size. Still, each has a place. 'One satisfies a more erotic, sensual pleasure for me – oil on paper. Painting satisfies a more resonant, deeper, emotional complexity.' ”