CONTEMPORARY MONOTYPE PHENOMENON

Untitled (Group in Water)

Untitled (Group in Water)
Eric Fischl, 1992
color monotype, 91.4 x 185.7 cm
(36 x 73 1/8 in.), Smithsonian American Art Museum


Fischl Biography

Of all the reasons why artists have chosen to make monotypes since the 1970s, the possibility for developing sequential imagery is perhaps the most frequently cited, especially by painters. For Eric Fischl, the monotype series provided a sympathetic vehicle for the narrative development of his subjects without having to begin each image from scratch. Fischl's first serious engagement with the medium took place in 1986 in the workshop of printer Maurice Sanchez. Returning to the workshop in 1992, Fischl began to work on a much larger scale, more akin to his paintings. He began with three basic groups of figures, each printed on a different section of three large sheets of paper. Although the same figures appear in the three resulting compositions, including Untitled (Group in Water), Fischl created three different scenes, each with its own implied narrative. By printing the images on an offset press, the artist did not have to compensate for the reversal of the image that occurs with a traditional printing press. Reworking areas of the background, he was able to make the three individual segments read as one continuous space.


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