Internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor Eric Fischl will present the inaugural Naomi Turner True Lecture at the Glassell School of Art on Friday, October 28, at 6 p.m. The lecture, How I paint what I paint, is free and open to the public, and it takes place in the school’s Frank Freed Auditorium, 5101 Montrose Boulevard. Guests will have the opportunity to meet Fischl at the reception that follows.
Fischl’s paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous major solo and group exhibitions, and his work is represented in many museums and prestigious private and corporate collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modem Art in New York City; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; St. Louis Art Museum; Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark; and Musée Beaubourg in Paris. His artwork has been featured in more than 1,000 publications. In addition, Fischl has collaborated with artists and authors such as E. L. Doctorow, Allen Ginsberg, Jamaica Kincaid, Jerry Saltz and Frederic Tuten. Fischl’s extraordinary achievements throughout his career have made him one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The Naomi Turner True Lecture Series is made possible by a generous grant from the Naomi Turner True Foundation.
Fischl was born in 1948 in New York City and grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He began his art education in Phoenix, Arizona, where his parents had moved in 1967. He attended Phoenix College and earned his B.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1972. He then spent some time in Chicago, where he worked as a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1974, he moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to teach painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. Fischl had his first solo show, curated by Bruce W. Ferguson, at Dalhousie Art Gallery in Halifax in 1975 before relocating to New York City in 1978.
Fischl’s suburban upbringing provided him with a backdrop of alcoholism and a country-club culture obsessed with image over content. His early work thus became focused on the rift between what was experienced and what could not be said. His first New York City solo show was at Edward Thorp Gallery in 1979, during a time when suburbia was not considered a legitimate genre for art. Fischl first received critical attention for depicting the dark, disturbing undercurrents of mainstream American life.
Fischl is currently a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the founder, president and lead curator for America: Now and Here. This multidisciplinary exhibition of 150 of America’s most celebrated visual artists, musicians, poets, playwrights and filmmakers is designed to spark a national conversation about American identity through the arts. The project launched in May 2011 in Kansas City with plans to continue a national tour in a roving museum and performance space contained within six 18-wheeler trucks that will travel to communities from coast to coast.
Fischl lives and works in Sag Harbor, New York, with his wife, painter April Gornik.
The Glassell School of Art
The Glassell School of Art is the teaching wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Established in 1927, the school was renamed in honor of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., in 1979, in recognition of his generous gift. The school has a reputation for outstanding training in the fine arts and offers a wide variety of programs and classes for adults and children through its Studio School and Junior School. The Glassell Community Outreach Program serves more than 2,000 individuals, including hospitalized children and hearing and visually impaired people.
The Glassell School of Art (Studio School) is located at 5101 Montrose Boulevard. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Building hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 713-639-7500 for more information.