Eric Fischl: Friends, Lovers and other Constellations


Lazy beaches, idyllic scenes, quotidian life that is peaceful but not mundane, the selection of works by Eric Fischl on view at the Albertina in Vienna left us hungering for more on a recent trip. From glassines to watercolours and sculpture, his ability to capture fluidity across different mediums is inspiring and allows his stories to flow well beyond the edges that frame them.

As Fischl says on the wall text, ‘trying to control the pooling of liquid colour so it captures the feel of muscle, motion and light while allowing it to do what it does naturally, is my most satisfying discipline.’ We believe it’s also his most endearing feature.

Here are some of our Fischl favourites, from the show and otherwise.

Swimming Lovers, 1984


Untitled, 2008


Untitled, 2008


Eric Fischl, Untitled, 2008. Oil on Chromecoat, 27 x 39 1/2 in.
Untitled, 2008


Eric Fischl, Untitled, 2008. Oil on Chromecoat, 27 x 39 1/2 in.
Untitled, 2008


Untitled, 2013


Untitled - Eric Fischl
Untitled, 2001


The Travel of Romance, Scene II, 1994

Fischl is also known for his oil painting on glassine, a very thin smooth paper that is air and water resistant. He places layers of these sheets one on top of each other to form a narrative, thereby allowing for the possibility of multiple scenarios.

Catboy, 1986


The Critics, 1979


Scarsdale, 1986


Tucked away behind the sandy beaches and billowing silhouettes that comprise this exhibition is Fischl’s Tumbling Woman sculpture. Not just any woman, this sculpture symbolises the lives lost in the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. It was first installed at the Rockefeller Center but due to complaints from the public was later covered and then removed.

Whether this sculpture symbolises a fallen or a leaping woman, someone being pushed or forced to jump is immaterial. It was Fischl’s aim to turn the conversation away from the destroyed towers to the people who lost their lives in the tragedy, and in this he succeeded.

Ten Breaths: Tumbling Woman II, 2007


Eric Fischl: Friends, Lovers and other Constellations
Till 18 May 2014
Albertina, Vienna