May 19 - June 25, 2016
532 West 20th Street
Featured Image: Nicole Eisenman Long Distance, 2015 Oil on canvas 65 x 82 inches (165.1 x 208.3 cm) (ak#11908)
For her debut exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, New York artist Nicole Eisenman will present a new body of paintings, a group of drawings and one plaster sculpture. The works range from the monumental to the intimate in size and address day-to-day life in New York City with all its ordinary, unexpected and sometimes marvelous moments. The show will run from May 19 through June 25, 2016 and complements Eisenman's concurrent survey exhibition at the New Museum.
Known for her large crowd scenes which all at once conjure up images of indulgent baroque bacchanals and the energetic circumvolution of a contemporary beer garden, her new paintings are of a more intimate nature. Focusing on informal moments shared by friends and lovers, the paintings concentrate on interior spaces and those casual situations that occur only behind closed doors, be that of the studio, a New York apartment or a train compartment. While Another Green World mirrors Eisenman’s crowded outdoor beer garden scenes, with various groups of friends interacting in the public domain, Nicole now takes the party indoors, to a safe space where interactions can escalate, relationships can go deeper, and the night can unfurl without fear of a closing time. In Morning Studio, two lovers are pictured in an embrace. Their faces are detailed and familiar; their pose is instantly recognizable as one of comfortable affection. Conversely, Long Distance depicts the very modern romance of long distance companionship, maintained over video-chat. The role of technology is expanded through Weeks on the Train and Subway 2, where commuters distance themselves from those physically around them while connecting through the use of laptops and phones. This theme of intimacy is abruptly broken by the intrusion of the Shooter paintings, which crash through the serenity and jolt the viewer back to ever-present reality.
"The exact way of knowing the world that you do with a friend is the theme of much of Eisenman’s new work. [...] Which is part of the blaring, radiant, inside-outness of the Eisenman universe. You could be ‘real’ or Betty Boop. If ‘allegory’ encompasses the travel between these two states, then that is exactly the mode of her work. Because intimacy, even with oneself, is unsettling. With portraits, perhaps this is magnified by the ever-shifting self-apprehension of the subject."
— EILEEN MYLES
Nicole Eisenman (b.1965, Verdun, France) is a painter and sculptor living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Eisenman is the winner of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Grant, the 2013 Carnegie Prize and has been included in the Whitney Biennial (1995, 2012). Her work has been the subject of a recent mid-career surveys, Al-ugh-ories, at the New Museum, New York (2016); and Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993-2013, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2014), which traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2015) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2015). Recent solo shows include Nicole Eisenman’s Seder, The Jewish Museum, New York (2015); and ‘Tis but a scratch’ ‘A scratch?! Your arm’s off!’ ‘No, it isn’t.’, Studio Voltaire, London (2012). She has participated in group exhibitions internationally at the Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2015); The Whitney Museum of American Art (2015); Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg (2015); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); and MANIFESTA 10, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (2014). Her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland, among others. She will be included in the 2016 Le Bienniale de Montreal.
All images courtesy Nicole Eisenman and Anton Kern Gallery, New York