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Eric Fischl
What Stands between the Artist and…
1994
oil
72 1/8 x 54 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program



This enigmatic scene, despite its traditional subject of a nude in an artist's studio, includes a disturbing undercurrent of sexually-charged violence. The twisted figure tumbling head-down from the sofa and the roughly painted palette imply a narrative fraught with tension. Eric Fischl has described "the feeling of awkwardness and self-consciousness that one experiences in the face of profound emotional events" as central to his work.