ERIC FISCHL "TROUT" LINOCUT, 1990
Since the 1980's Eric Fischl (b. 1948) he has been admired internationally as one of the most daring figurative painters. Over the course of his career he has worked in a host of mediums; sculpture, mosaic, paint and printmaking.
Fischl's work is typically infused with a pending emotional, sexual or psychological violence and tension. His expertise lays with his distinctive renderings of the body, whether in a vulnerable or sexualized state.
This work, "Trout" is a fine example of Fischl's aesthetic, and was created for the book "A Bestiary" by Bradford Morrow (b. 1951). Interestingly this is the only image in the book that shows a human figure with one of the animals. One of Fischl's favorite motifs are 'bodies by the shore'.
Since the ancient world, bestiaries have been used to catalog and describe collective knowledge on creatures and other natural elements (i.e. rocks). Illustrated bestiaries grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, often pairing the animal with a moral lesson. This reflected the allegorical Christian belief that each living thing had its own special meaning, and reiterated the symbolic language of animals used in Western Christian art.
Bradford Morrow (b. 1951) is a decorated American novelist and poet and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction. Morrow began writing his own bestiary featuring real and imagined creatures (like unicorns) alongside often-overlooked aspects of nature, like plankton. Morrow collaborated with 18 contemporary American artists who created artworks based on the animals in his manuscript.
Participating artists included Joel Shapiro, Vija Celmins, Kiki Smith and Richard Tuttle. Working at Grenfell Press, the artists used traditional printmaking including wood cuts, linoleum cuts, engravings and pochoir. The result of this collaboration is gorgeously written prose accompanied by stunning works of art, as diverse in their style and beauty as the animals themselves.
(From the book Bestiary by Bradford Morrow)
Linocut On Somerset Wove Paper
Signed and numbered by the artist on the colophon page
From an edition of 100
Publisher: The Grenfell Press, New York
"Trout" in the book Bestiary by Bradford Morrow (New York: Grenfell Press, 1990)
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