One of the most talented and influential painters of his generation, Fischl returns to his alma mater to address CalArts’ Class of 2013 at the graduation ceremony on May 17 at 6 p.m.
Fischl’s memoir Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas  (available May 7) describes his coming of age as an artist, including his time at CalArts, and his experiences in the highly charged New York art world of the 1980s.
May 2, Valencia, CA—President Steven D. Lavine is delighted to announce that renowned painter, sculptor and printmaker Eric Fischl  will be the 2013 recipient of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)  honorary Doctor of Arts degree. In honoring Fischl’s originality, creativity and dedication to the art of painting, as well as his commitment to the social good, the Institute proudly welcomes back one its most prominent alumni.
Fischl joins an illustrious roster of past recipients of honorary degrees from CalArts including actress Annette Bening, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, visual artist Ed Ruscha, composer John Cage, choreographer Anna Halprin and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman.
Educated first at Phoenix College in Arizona, Fischl came to CalArts when contemporary art was trending toward minimal and conceptual art. “CalArts ,” Fischl said, “provided a strong backboard for painters to push against,” solidifying his determination to succeed as a painter.
After CalArts, Fischl established a studio in New York and proceeded to master the craft of figurative painting. In the early 1980s, he took the art world by storm with large, sensual canvases informed by impressions and memories of his suburban childhood. These paintings were described in the New York Times  as “psychologically astounding…emotionally raw, semi-photorealist images of Oedipal confusion...”
Fischl’s paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints have been the subject of numerous solo and major group exhibitions and his work is represented in many museums, as well as prestigious private and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, and the Musee Beaubourg in Paris.