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