The Paintings of Eric Fischl at the Skarstedt Gallery

A red clown nose and an unmistakable shock of blonde hair. Yes, it’s him: Donald Trump dressed as a clown in one of the paintings hanging on the wall in the Skarstedt Gallery. The works of Eric Fischl which make up the exhibition Presence of an Absence, move within domestic environments, but something is always a bit askew in that serenity typical of the American suburbs. As in the preceding New York exhibition, Late America, a pronounced dualism marks the paintings, a sense of disconnection between the external appearance, made of wealth and security, and an internal sentiment bounded by fear and a desire of something unexplainable. They are American values that wobble so, in a society wracked by political uncertainty and a chronic lack of satisfaction. The artist does not ignore the symbolic meaning of colour, often using black to dress his protagonists, giving the impression, almost, that they’re heading to a funeral. Or representing the absence of communication between his characters, he places them in the same painting but distant and mute. Fischl puts universal questions on his canvases, because, sometimes, a painting is worth a thousand words.
Margherita Visentini - © 2018 for Bvlgari Hotel London