Elizaville

Nicole Eisenman

March 12, 2004 – April 10, 2004 249 Centre Street

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of new works by Nicole Eisenman entitled “Elizaville”. A painter of immense facility and range, Nicole Eisenman’s oevre runs the gamut of visual reference from surrealism to pointillism to WPA murals to name but a few. Eisenman deftly moves in an out of these references with ease, utilizing them to suit her own distinctive vernacular. Orgiastic crowds, Dionysian sacrifices, minotaur hunts, and romps through art history and pop culture have made appearances in past exhibitions. Yet the wit and scope of Eisenman’s vision often disguises the intimacy of her work. Clichés are turned inside out, gender roles are questioned and one is engaged without fully realizing that the lushly painted scenes are revealing something very personal.

For this exhibition, Nicole Eisenman has created a series of works that have been influenced by a recent move to the Hudson Valley in New York. In travel time, the town is only about two hours from New York City. But it is perhaps light years away in surroundings, temperament and pace.

Far from romanticizing however, Eisenman delivers a decidedly skewed vision of rural life. As always, her razor-sharp wit is pervasive in this body of paintings and drawings. “Elizaville” appears bucolic yet slightly seedy. Absurdity and apprehension emerge in scenes of local young hoodlums, skulking in the woods, and bare-chested men with ubiquitous baseball caps, traipsing through mud under fall foliage.

Throughout, Eisenman’s vision retains an underlying ambivalence. Merged with the less than idyllic tableau are the artist’s continuous ruminations on the art world in general. In allegorical form, Eisenman explores the balance between creativity and commerce, success and obscurity and the mechanics of inspiration.

Nicole Eisenman has been included numerous exhibitions, notably the Whitney Biennial in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, The Centraal Museum Utrecht, Holland and the San Francisco Art Institute. As well, her work has been included in recent exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum Cologne and the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 – 6 pm. For more information or visuals, please contact Elizabeth Balogh or Kai Heinze at the gallery.