Why painting, and why now?
Those questions, as well as many others, were the topics of conversation as renowned American contemporary artist Eric Fischl visited Ottawa for the latest in the Contemporary Conversations series. In a discussion before a capacity crowd at the National Gallery of Canada, Fischl talked about his broader artistic philosophy, and provided insight into the journey that took him from a suburban childhood in Phoenix, Arizona, to his current status as one of the best-known figures of contemporary art.
Fischl’s time in Ottawa also included a roundtable at the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts. In a panel discussion with rising Canadian artists, Fischl and others debated the question of why art — and painting, specifically — matters in the modern world.
The two events marked the third entry in Contemporary Conversations, a series the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa has organized in partnership with U.S. Department of State Art in Embassies program and the National Gallery of Canada. The series will continue with a lecture by photographer Stephen Wilkes on November 19.