Eric Fischl Beach Paintings
Forget about bathing beauties. The beachgoers in Eric Fischl's paintings are real people caught with their guard down—often their bathing suits, too—as they wade and wallow at surf's edge or lounge on the sand, sunlight slathering their naked thighs and shoulders. Eric Fischl: Beach Paintings collects 200 paintings, watercolors, charcoals, and photographs by this prolific New York artist who, since he burst onto the art scene in the early 1980s, has been celebrated (and sometimes berated) for his frank, fluid renderings of the human body. Dive into this book to marvel at Fischl's swathes of sun-washed color, the way the casual bend of a torso suggests a figure by Degas; then, at midpoint, stop and read the shrewdly observant A.M. Homes short story included here, "My Brother on Sunday," about vacationing upscale couples and their discontents. A beach, we're reminded, is a place where people stare at one another freely. Enjoy the show.
— Cathleen Medwick