Accession Number


Eric Fischl

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching and aquatint on wove paper

22 1/4 x 25 3/8 in. (56.4 x 64.4 cm);26 1/8 x 32 1/16 in. (66.2 x 81.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Herbert Barrows

Label copy
Painter, photographer, and printer Eric Fischl came to prominence in the early 1980s with a series of large-scaled figurative canvases. Aggressively confrontational, these canvases were often steeped in psychological undertones. Perhaps dreamlike in their inspiration, Fischl’s work of the 1980s and 90s creates an uneasy world where things seem "not quite right." The relationships between figures are often not completely clear but rather remain enigmatic. This serves to actively engage viewers with what they are seeing, calling upon both an emotional and intellectual basis of analysis.
Shower is a fine example of Fischl’s interest not only in the representation of the figure but also in the enigmatic presentation of a narrative-like scene. While the reference to a shower scene is clear not only from the title but also within the imagery, the reason for this grouping of figures in the shower room is not entirely apparent. The dark coloring of the overall image hints at something perhaps sinister in this scene, at the very least mysterious.
"I think my work is most successful when the audience connects with what they are seeing emotionally, but what they are seeing is so complex that it never gets tied down," Fischl has said. "It’s like theater without a script, a set of relationships between people, the objects, and the place that they are in."
Printed from two plates: greenish grey tone plate and the figurative plate
Sean Ulmer, "A Matter of Degree" 11/2001

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.


& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved