• By: Eric Murphy

Artist Eric Fischl at the NGC

Copyright 2014, Eric Fischl. All Rights Reserved.

A former security guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Eric Fischl has made himself one of this century’s most influential American painters and sculptors. Fischl will be discussing his work at the National Gallery of Canada tomorrow as part of the Embassy of the United States’ Contemporary Conversations project.

Photo courtesy of Ralph Gibson
Photo courtesy of Ralph Gibson

The project, which began in February with artist Marie Watt, aims to engage the local arts community with fantastic American artists, promoting a dialogue that couldn’t have happened without the Embassy’s support.

Fischl’s artist talk is fully booked, but there is still one lecture left in the series. That final lecture will be with American Photographer Stephen Wilkes, who is best known for his work with the abandoned sections of Ellis Island. Wilkes’ lecture takes place in November, and registration opens October 19.

For those who can’t make it to Fischl’s event, the NGC is currently showing a translucent cast of Fischl’s Tumbling Woman sculpture. A response to the 9/11 attacks in New York, Tumbling Woman has a visceral motion to it. On the artist’s website, Fischl says he “called [the sculpture] tumbling as opposed to falling because I wanted it to have a feeling of lateral motion . . . a feeling that we’re in motion, heading somewhere and not in control.”

The Tumbling Woman copy will be on display in the gallery until September 14. The original sculpture and a similar watercolour are also in the capital, currently sitting in Lornado, the official residence of the United States Ambassador to Canada.

Contemporary Conversations is part of the larger U.S. Art in Embassies project, which you can find out more about on their website here. If you’re interested in attending the Stephen Wilkes talk, you can RSVP after October 19 by emailing rsvp@gallery.ca.