Oil on linen
Overall: 274.2 x 190.4 cm (107 15/16 x 74 15/16 in.)
Private Collection 154.1992
© Eric Fischl
Since the late 1970s, Eric Fischl has probed the lifestyles and values of upper middle-class Americans through large-scale, psychologically charged paintings. In 1988, however, Fischl spent a month observing and recording scenes in northern India. Dancer, which emerged from this experience, differs from the artist's previous work. The voyeurism of his earlier approach was replaced by the fascination of a tourist in an unfamiliar land. Fischl often combined images from his own photography with his imagination to describe and interpret scenes from daily life. The painting, expressively rendered in hues of brown and gold, exudes an ochre glow suggestive of India's dense and earthy atmosphere. Focusing on the veiled, solitary figure, Fischl has captured the symbolic gesture, or mudra, of the dancer's hands and fluid curves of her costume and pose. Her exotic movements and the mysticism implied by her dance became a vehicle for the artist's exploration of non-Western culture.
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