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  • Provenance

    Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco; Acquired from the above by the present owner (January 1994)

  • Catalogue Essay

    After his emergence in the 1980s, Eric Fischl has come to be one of America’s most preeminent figurative painters. Fischl’s canvases are both engaging and distinctly American, compelling the viewer to partake in a world of middle-class suburban drama and uncertainty.  Powerful and frank in their depictions, Fischl’s works are wrought with narrative, psychological and sexual tension.  Exemplary of the increasingly personal and contemplative nature of his more mature work, April in the Shower is a portrait of the artist’s own wife, painter April Gornik. Here, the bathroom functions as a stage on which Fischl experiments with the idea of public versus private. The viewer, therefore, both partakes and observes, at once a participant and a voyeur.
     
    What is central to the present piece, and his other work, Fischl explains, “is the feeling of awkwardness and self-consciousness that one experiences in the face of profound emotional events in one’s life.  These experiences, such as death, or loss, or sexuality, cannot be supported by a life style that has sought so arduously to deny their meaningfulness, and a culture whose fabric is so worn out that its public rituals and attendant symbols do not make for adequate clothing.  One, truly, does not know how to act! Each new event is a crisis, and each crisis is a confrontation that fills us with much the same anxiety we feel when, in a dream, we discover ourselves naked in public.’” (P. Schjeldahl, Eric Fischl, New York, 1988, p. 21)

120

April in the Shower

1992
Oil on canvas.
98 1/4 x 74 1/8 in. (249.6 x 188.3 cm).
Signed, titled and dated “Eric Fischl April in the Shower ’92” on the reverse.

Estimate
$300,000 - 500,000 

sold for $338,500

Contemporary Art Part I

8 November 2010
New York