press release

Nicole Eisenman
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September 14 – November 5, 2017

Artist talk/Exhibition talk: Nicole Eisenman in conversation with Monika Baer
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 6pm
Opening/Summer party: Nicole Eisenman, Toni Schmale and Chadwick Rantanen
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 7pm

Nicole Eisenman is known as a painter of complex narratives in the form of works that have psychological depth and often dystopian undertones. Her figurative paintings are distinctive from both subject matter and style, the latter being eclectic employing almost everything within modern pictorial tradition. Substantive content that oscillates between autobiography and socio-political issues is wrapped up in the painting style of great epigones. Since the beginning of her career in the early 1990s when she emerged with an oeuvre that was mainly based on drawing and graphics, Eisenmann has been working on the vocabulary of a contemporary pictorial language for queer and feminist subjects. These have been moving away from a marginalised position in society and, because of the academic engagement with queer politics in the late-1980s, have become established in the field of art too. These roots in the areas of counter- and underground cultures are most perceptible in Eisenman’s early works that have an affinity to zine culture and exhibit numerous references ranging from popular culture to art history to pornography.

The list of artists – mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries – from whose style of painting Eisenman quotes is long: Picasso, Munch, Chagall, Monet, Renoir, Matisse are only a few of those whose characteristic style of painting has been appropriated by Eisenman and used by her according to the demands of the painting. It is impressive that despite this apparent rejection of individuality through painterly gesture, her work unmistakeably exhibits its own handwriting. Even though Eisenman adheres to figurative painting her pictures also contain abstract elements whose forms are to be filled with meaning by the viewer in the same way as the more obvious compositional elements such as subject and style of painting.

With her eclectic style of painting, her often raw and provocative picture content and, above all, her talent for telling complex stories within a picture narrative, Eisenman has already become an important reference figure for a whole generation of artists.

Nicole Eisenman, born in 1965 in Verdun (France), lives and works in New York City.