New York City, NY
One of the most important painters of her generation, Eisenman has developed a distinct figurative language that combines the imaginative with the lucid, the absurd with the banal, and the stereotypical with the countercultural and queer.
In her narrative compositions she draws as much from art history as from popular culture, making way for accessible and humorous, yet also critical and poignant images of contemporary life. Gathering a body of work produced over the last two decades, “Al-ugh-ories” pays special attention to the symbolic nature of her depictions of individuals and groups and highlights how the allegorical permeates her oeuvre and fluidly ties the fictional to the autobiographical.
Considering Eisenman’s dedication to the history of painting and the ways in which she references artists as diverse as Giotto, Francisco de Goya, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and Edvard Munch, the show will also underline how her approach to painting involves a deliberate attempt to counter accepted historical hierarchies through wit and irreverence.
Her preoccupation with the figure and the complexity of its gestures and form has in recent years also resulted in a number of large-scale plaster sculptures, a selection of which will be included in this show. With proportions that exceed human scale, these bodies—like those in Eisenman’s paintings—act out familiar everyday occurrences such as eating, sleeping, walking, or making love, while also exposing human desire to be equally raw and awkward.
Nicole Eisenman was born in Verdun, France, in 1965 and lives and works in New York.
Exhibition overview from the New Museum website.