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Artist Eric Fischl attended Phoenix College in his youth and returns to Phoenix every year to present the Fischl Vanguard Award to the College’s outstanding art students. He also brings with him a guest of international stature to deliver the Eric Fischl Lecture Series at Phoenix Art Museum. This year's guest is artist José Lerma.
About José Lerma
Born in Seville, Spain, José Lerma currently works and lives in Brooklyn, NY and Chicago, IL. He is a professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and is represented by the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. Drawing inspiration from his personal history, as well as historical figures and events, José Lerma incorporates research and an inventive approach to the traditions of painting and portraiture.
Using varying methods and alternative materials, Lerma’s gestures and depictions continue to unfold upon investigation––what appear to be bold, expressionist gestures slowly reveal themselves to be meticulous collages of silicone; or almost vibrating acrylic surfaces come into near focus as infinitely layered drawings. Finding ways within painting to collapse the historical and the personal, Lerma functionalizes our contemporary desire for beautifully rich painting as a way to encourage the possibility of a deeper engagement with the content and narrative embedded in the work.