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:: By Megan Lisagor

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Investigations ::

Original Source

Falling into place

image:  Courtesy the Mary Boone Gallery
Courtesy the Mary Boone Gallery

Eric Fischl’s figurative “Tumbling Woman” commands attention, set amid more abstract works in the Smart Museum’s sculpture garden. “Visitors certainly notice the piece,” observes Jacqueline Terrassa, MFA’94, the museum’s interim director. “It’s eye-catching, it’s big, and it’s in the middle of the courtyard.”

The life-size bronze statue represents New York–born Fischl’s response to 9/11. Depicting a naked woman hurtling through space, the sculpture upset some viewers when first displayed at Rockefeller Center in September 2002, cutting its run short.

Fischl later had copies of the piece produced, which individual collectors bought. One was loaned to the Smart, where it appears to have found a less controversial setting.

“In this more neutral space, a wider range of interpretations seems possible,” museum curator Stephanie Smith says. “For instance, when the artist lectured on campus recently, he spoke of the figure in terms of the existential anxiety that many people feel as we tumble through unstable times. Here at the Smart, the work can also be viewed in relation to a larger art historical context.”

The statue is on loan until 2006.