Sophia Fassi is a painter who uses the figurative codes of traditional painting. She paints our society mainly in the guise of young women. Her paintings pierce the intimacy of their subjects by giving them a great intensity. This intimacy questions the place of the artist. The dialogue that takes place between the painter and the person represented is echoed in Eric Fischl’s solitary painting and in Lucian Freud’s crude portraits.
Eric Fischl is an American neo-expressionist painter and sculptor. He paints series of paintings in warm colours reminiscent of Sophia Fassi. His works show scenes of life that bring together one or more people linked by an activity they share. These characters are often from behind or from the side, and never look at the painter. He does not take part in the scenes that are played out before him. Sophia Fassi uses this principle in some of her paintings, such as Portrait d’une jeune fille dans les transports (2020). However, some of her portraits show young women staring intently at the artist, like a lens. The painters step back from their subjects, from their presence and activities, and from their nudity in the case of Eric Fischl. In his latest series Meditations on Melancholia, he paints a number of full-length nude portraits, while Sophia Fassi depicts all the figures in her paintings clothed. These artists share a way of doing things that can be more easily defined by the complementary analysis of a third artist, Lucian Freud. In addition to his work as a psychiatrist and physician, he was a practising draughtsman and painter. He often depicted his subjects naked, in their most complete intimacy, exposed to the public eye. Often taking possession of their bedrooms as the setting for his paintings, Freud drew in cold, blue tones, showing a certain distance from the subjects. He wanted to enter their worlds, but without taking part in. In contrast, Eric Fischl and Sophia Fassi depict their subjects in warm, strong colours, although they are not part of their paintings. The treatment they choose, on the other hand, reflects this involvement: they respect the intimacy of the people they paint, see and portray it, while making a point of remaining alone on the other side of the canvas.
While Lucian Freud exhibits the intimacy of his subjects in a clinical and cold manner, Sophia Fassi and Eric Fischl show a more shared intimacy. Eric Fischl’s paintings show men and women in their most trivial everyday life, effacing themselves as much as possible from his canvases, placing themselves in the solitude of the observer, almost anthropologically. Sophia Fassi, on the other hand, modestly withdraws herself in order to show the moments of intimacy that unfold under her brush. However, in spite of this distancing induced by the artist on his characters, it is necessary to recognize that he grants to the latter by the power of his line, an intensity which shines in their eyes.


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Tereza Lochmann and engraving

Tereza Lochmann is a versatile artist. She works with large format woodcuts, as well as drawing and painting. Her most unusual activity, however, is printmaking. In her hands, this austere-looking […]

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