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  • Provenance

    Mary Boone Gallery, New York; Private collection, USA

  • Catalogue Essay

    Painting starts in very personal ways. What is my relationship to being here, and to the ways I am trying to express something in a medium that is so old? It's a medium of limited forms so I have to work with that limitation. I take painting very seriously because it is the way that I am in the world. It's a language, it's a very primitive language. Primitive in the sense that it precedes language. When I first started painting I used words a lot because I'd had a longer relationship with language than I'd had with the medium of paint. It was better developed. By now, though, I've had a sufficiently long relationship for it to be a primary language.
    I paint to tell myself about myself. Painting is a way of saying what it is like to be me. It's also a way of saying what it is like to be me. It's about the individual psyche and the individual formed by the other. (Eric Fischl, On Being a Painter, Eric Fischl 1970-2007, New York 2007, p.264)
    Eric Fischl, in the 70s and 80s, was a principal character in the reintroduction of the traditional medium, figurative style of painting into a contemporary context. It is the artist's attraction to all things that carry with them a concentrated psychologically, and his representation of this in his works, that he has become known for. Fischl presents his audiences with private moments with murkiness and a dreamlike state, taking place with in the domestic, suburban setting. The audience of Fischl's work is given the impression that they are interrupting on a moment of intense human interaction either sublime or somewhat devastating.
    Our present lot, a depiction of two women, two lives, separated only by time, the elder of the two, passive and disengaged from the seeming affection of the younger. The gaze that the elder commits to the dog is as faithful and subservient as that of which she receives; a sense of ubiquity reigns over the composition of this work, any sense of majesty is diluted to the same level of banality as the bathroom setting. This work is neither upsetting or hopeful, it is true, it is even and poised perfectly within reality.


Untitled (Bathroom Scene)

Oil on canvas in two parts.
Left panel: 248.9 x 172.7 cm. (95 x 68 in).; right panel: 152.4 x 114.3 cm. (60 x 45 in). ; overall: 241.3 x 287 cm. (95 x 113 in).
Signed and dated 'Eric Fischl 1989' on the reverse of the left panel; dated 1989 on the reverse of the right panel.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm