How do you embark on a career as an artist when everything has been done before? This is an existential question faced by each new generation of artists. In this installation drawn from the Seattle Art Museum’s permanent collection, artists including David Salle, Eric Fischl, Richard Pettibone, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Brian Jungen and others grapple with these concerns in various ways—by returning to figuration in painting, rethinking modernist masterworks in more humble scale, or reconnecting art and craft in their work. For all of these artists, reckoning with past histories becomes a way of understanding our contemporary moment.
Krefeld Project, Dining Room, Scene #2, 2003, Eric Fischl, American, b. 1948, oil on canvas, 89 x 124 in., Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2014.25.19. © Eric Fischl, Photo: Nathaniel Willson.