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.


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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