F%*#ck Yesss! Painting, Nicole Eisenman at the New Museum

Nicole Eisenmann is taking over.

She won a MacArthur genius grant. New works are going up at Anton Kern Gallery later this month. And, now open at the New Museum, a succinct, impactful retrospective. During this Spring of 2016, Nicole Eisenman is getting a close look as one of NYC’s premier painters. Here’s a brief post about the New Museum retro.

The paintings are self aware, not in a SKYNET sense, but that references to their own making are embedded on the surface.

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The more academically inclined ones seem to know it, and they don’t veer from their stylistic lanes, but still manage to bring a sense of wryness.

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Nothing is taken too seriously. Some of the images would be horrifying if they weren’t so over the top.

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The variety of ways faces are portrayed illuminates Eisenmann’s understanding of art history.   Ensor and Bacon come to mind.

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I first saw this in 2007 and after 9 years it still makes me clench my fists in awe.

The variety of surface rewards the painters. and everyone else who thinks these little ripples matter a whole lot. The textures feel meaningful. Slicker paint leans intellectual, clinical; chunky gives turbulence, viscerality.  Seeing Eisenman’s fluency across styles is the joy of the show.

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I don’t understand what’s going on here, but I love it, so don’t tell me.

They are chock-a-block with details to to get lost in.

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This looks like paranoia about being two-dimensional (metaphorically and literally), but brings her signature whimsy.

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Go take a look, these paintings look back. Open until June 26th.

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