DISPATCH - OCT 13, 2012 (5:30 p.m.)

EAST HAMPTON, NY

If the cooler weather creates poignant longing for seaside lounging, then paintings conjuring the ease of beach afternoons may provide a perfect farewell to summer. "Eric Fischl: Beach Life" closes tomorrow when Guild Hall does. The museum is open on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The paintings on view are easy to look at and conjure stories mid-tale. Since Fischl is a figurative painter, it's no surprise people dominate more than the sandy settings. More subtle is the mood permeating each piece. Each artwork invites the viewer to wonder what could happen next and how the "scene" managed to become set as we see it.

The art is inspired by actual scenes photographed by Fischl. Recording beach scenes is only the beginning of the process, Fischl explained during a talk held at Guild Hall. Each artwork is labored over: people are culled, emotional mood is heightened and compositions are explored until the painting is truly finished, he said.

Even "The Gang," a painting of his artist friends (including his wife, April Gornik) wasn't as easy as viewers might expect. The painting is not a reproduction of perfect moment where all pose naturally for the camera. Instead, images of waterside lounging were combined and teased until the painting achieved its carefree look, said Fischl.

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"The Gang" by Eric Fischl, 2006. Oil on linen, 84 x 108 inches. Collection of Eric Fischl. Image courtesy of Guild Hall Museum.

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“Beach Life” presents 15 paintings set on the beaches of the Hamptons, St. Tropez and St. Barts. Works include loans from collections held by the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and private collectors. Several paintings have never been exhibited before, according to Guild Hall.

Paintings were made from 1983 to 2010. Works range from 3 x 4 feet to panels that stretch to over 13 feet.

Here's a look at some of the art in the exhibition:

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"The Beginning and the End" by Eric Fischl, 1988. Oil on canvas, 75 x 110 inches. Collection of Neda Young. Image courtesy Guild Hall Museum.

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"Costa de Sol" by Eric Fischl, 1986. Oil on linen, two panels, 8 feet x 1/4 inches x 13 feet x 1/2 inch. Loaned by The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Douglas S. Cramer Foundation. Image courtesy Guild Hall Museum.

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"Four Women" by Eric Fischl, 2010. Oil on linen, 80 x 112 inches. Collection of Terry Semel. Image courtesy of Guild Hall Museum.

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"Nude with Dug Pulling" by Eric Fischl, 2012 Watercolor on Paper, 14 x 11 inches. Image courtesy of Guild Hall Museum.

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Guild Hall typically "turns over" the entire museum to an artist with area ties for the final show of the season. Last year, Richard Prince exhibited his work. Barbara Kruger had a solo show at the museum in 2010.

BASIC FACTS: "Eric Fischl: Beach Life" closes tomorrow (Oct 14, 2012) at Guild Hall Museum, 158 Main St, East Hampton, NY. The museum is open on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. www.guildhall.org.

RELATED STORIES: http://hamptonsarthub.wpengine.com/2012/08/09/beach-life-by-eric-fischl-opens-at-guild-hall/

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© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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