New York

Eric Fischl

Mary Boone Gallery | Chelsea

Eric Fischl’s new work demonstrates that he still has the power to provoke. His India paintings represented a falling away from his earlier perversity—or rather a stylization of it that caused it to lose all its uncanniness—but now, returning to the American scene where he is obviously at home, he has recovered his intuitive sense of devilishness. Sexuality is his theme, and it is more blatant than ever. These paintings reflect a particularly American confusion of identity—for America is the land in which we let it all hang out, but to no avail. This, in fact, is Fischl’s real theme—the theme that was latent all along and is now almost in focus. For the issue in The Empress of Sorrow (all works 1992) is not “her” cross-dressing, but that “she” doesn’t really have any secure sense of self. It comes only from her dressing up and playacting—from acting out the hidden femininity of the macho

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