New York

Eric Fischl

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

Has Eric Fischl returned to the kind of work that earned him notoriety (and the scorn of feminists) in the 1980s? The innuendo, and sometimes-explicit sexual imagery, of the six paintings that are part of his ongoing sequence of “Bedroom Scenes,” immediately suggest as much. However physically intimate, the men and women depicted therein are at emotional odds, a condition emphasized by the witty subtitles—Surviving the Fall Meant Using You for Handholds, 2004, is one example—that accompany each canvas. Robert Pincus-Witten argued that, in the paintings with which Fischl made his name, the artist was illustrating Freudian themes with irony, whether intentional or not. But the new pictures make it clear that his work is best understood in terms of relational psychoanalysis: Sexual problems are an expression of or mask for interpersonal problems, and these have always been the painter’s

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