The painter Eric Fischl was in Los Angeles recently and stopped by LACMA to see his painting, St. Barts Ralph’s 70th, which he has generously lent to the museum and around which I developed a small installation including some related works from our permanent collection: Alex Katz, Eric Fischl and the Beach Scene (on view through November 28).
Eric kindly agreed to take some time to talk with us about his big, vibrant painting of his friends on vacation and to let us record him doing so. His responses to my questions got right to the heart of what I loved about the painting and had responded to so enthusiastically—its cheerful subject matter and brilliant execution for starters. We then had a chance to walk through the American art galleries, as Eric had not seen our collection for some time. There were a few works that really caught his eye and when I heard the painter in him responding to these masterpieces in our collection, I had to capture that on video too.
As a curator who focuses on our historical American art collection (artists active before 1968), I was thrilled to talk with a living artist about the art of painting. I love how clearly Eric describes his own practice and what makes a great painting.]