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Eric Fischl (b. 1948)
signed, titled and dated 'NOONWATCH Eric Fischl 1983' on the reverse
oil on canvas
65 x 100in. (165 x 254cm.)
Mary Boone Gallery, New York
R. Storr, "Desperate Pleasures", Art in America, November 1984, p. 125 (illustrated)
P. Schjeldahl, Eric Fischl, New York 1988, no. 51 (illustrated).

Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Eric Fischl, May-June 1991, p. 59 (illustrated)

Lot Essay

Eric Fischl's paintings act as narratives where the stories develop and unfold instantly before us. He is a master storyteller whose subject matter, powerful in content, frequently deals with the existential apprehension of suburban life. Central in the artist's vocabulary is the theme of physical and psychological nakedness. Typically, Fischl's characters act out their sociological explorations in such public arenas as beaches, back yards and the bedrooms of America. Infused with emotional interplay and strong sexual implications, Noon Watch, 1983 exemplifies Fischl's interests. The beach in Noon Watch becomes the stage where Fischl experiments with the idea of the public becoming the private and vice versa. The viewer becomes simultaneously both a voyeur and a participant. The physical proximity of the woman in the left-hand foreground of the picture invites the viewer to postulate on the story unfolding in the rest of the canvas. As the looming presence of the woman encourages us to participate in the scene, the physical separateness and lack of dialogue we perceive between the other figures, forbids us from fully relating. The realistic rendering of the scene draws us into a seemingly familiar world. However, in this recognizable scenario, Fischl hints at under currents of love and sexuality, passivity and aggression, old age and youth, and the threat of the unknown.

"Fischl seems to be showing all, but what counts in his work is what is not stated, and can never be adequately stated. Fischl's pictures seem to promise us clarity about complex issues, but in fact suggest depth of a complexity that can never be fully deciphered. It is this that makes his pictures peculiarly opaque dreams, abysses of meaning we can never quiet climb out of once we have accepted their terms." (D. Kuspit, Fischl, New York 1987, p. 7)

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