Nicole Eisenman’s colorful depictions of cartoonish worlds in figurative painting, printmaking, and other media often utilize a dark sense of humor to embrace queerness and deconstruct gender binaries. In recent years, she has also expanded that approach to sculpture with highly-lauded results. While she sometimes depicts the intimacy of lovers and friends, she more regularly portrays the detachment, superficiality, and solitude of the human condition, largely by evoking haphazard relations in public spaces.
Most recently, Eisenman has expanded her efforts into the public realm by creating installations of sculptural figures to be exhibited outside of the gallery walls. Her first major public commission, Sketch for a Fountain (Skulptur Projekte Münster, 2017), arranges casually posed androgynous bronze and plaster figures around a water basin. The resulting group simultaneously adopts and confronts the traditional art historical imaging of nude bathers, while thoughtfully responding to the setting and creating an inviting water feature for the city park.
Eisenman’s talk at The New School will address the dialogue between her painting practice and her expansion into sculpture, as well as her even more recent foray into public sculpture to discuss how she has engaged with this new context and responded to its challenges.
Books that Matter (to Nicole Eisenman):
The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
Blood Child by Octavia Butler
Barefoot Gen Series by Keiji Nakazawa
63 Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets
The New School, Tishman Auditorium, University Center
About the Artist
Nicole Eisenman (b. 1965, Verdun, France) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work was the subject of a 2016 mid-career retrospective “Al-Ugh-Ories” at the New Museum, New York. Other recent solo exhibitions include her traveling survey exhibition, “Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993–2013” at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2015), The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2014), and the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis (2014). She is currently included in the decennial, Skulptur Project Münster, Münster, Germany (2017), and will open a solo exhibition at Secession, Vienna, this September.
Eisenman is a 2015 MacArthur Foundation fellow and winner of the 2013 Carnegie Prize. Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; SF MOMA, San Francisco; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.