CalArts President Steven D. Lavine is delighted to announce that renowned painter, sculptor and printmaker Eric Fischl will be the 2013 recipient of California Institute of the Arts honorary Doctor of Arts degree. In honoring Fischl’s originality, creativity and dedication to the art of painting, as well as his commitment to the social good, the Institute proudly welcomes back one its most prominent alumni.
Fischl joins an illustrious roster of past recipients of honorary degrees from CalArts including actress Annette Bening, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, visual artist Ed Ruscha, composer John Cage, choreographer Anna Halperin and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman.
Educated first at Phoenix College in Arizona, Fischl came to CalArts when contemporary art was trending toward minimal and conceptual art. “CalArts ,” Fischel said, “provided a strong backboard for painters to push against,” solidifying his determination to succeed as a painter.
After CalArts, Fischl established a studio in New York and proceeded to master the craft of figurative painting. In the early 1980s, he took the art world by storm with large, sensual canvases informed by impressions and memories of his suburban childhood. These paintings were described in the New York Times as “psychologically astounding…emotionally raw, semi-photorealist images of Oedipal confusion…”
Fischl’s paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous solo and major group exhibitions and his work is represented in many museums, as well as prestigious private and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, and the Musee Beaubourg in Paris.
In 2011, Fischl launched America Now and Here, a bold and ambitious traveling program designed to bring art to America’s heartland, as well as educate and engage children in the process of art making.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions. Based in Valencia, north of Los Angeles, CalArts further extends its commitment to the arts through the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown L.A. and the nationally emulated Community Arts Partnership (CAP) youth arts program.