Nicole Eisenman

October 30, 2009 – December 23, 2009 545 West 23rd Street

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of new paintings by Nicole Eisenman.
Nicole Eisenman moves deftly in and out of genres, sifting through both history and contemporary philosophical concerns with a poignant and searing personal lens. In this series of paintings, Eisenman’s wit, facility and sheer visual eloquence are exemplified. Co-mingled tropes suggest the conflict of the thinking contemporary artist struggling with both the ordinary and the immense issues of the day.

When recently interviewed about her new series of works, Eisenman said this:
“There’s a whole genre of paintings, particularly French ones, of people eating and drinking, and the beer garden seems to be the equivalent, for certain residents of twenty-first-century Brooklyn, of the grand public promenades and social spaces of the nineteenth century. It’s where we go to socialize, to commiserate about how the world is a fucked-up place and about our culture’s obsession with happiness.”

Communication, or perhaps the futility of it, seems to be a lingering premise in these visually hypnotic and psychologically fraught paintings. The large and medium scaled works depict group scenes at beer gardens, conversations between various night creatures at a dinner table, and a couple languorously reclining. Color and pattern play a pivotal role in the accessibility of these works. Fascinated by shifting ways of seeing, Elsenman acknowledges pattern recognition as an integral aspect of visual communication as well as a tool to vary perception.

Though coupled or grouped together, Eisenman’s canvases are populated with characters that seem adrift in their own thoughts. The scenes are suspended in that comforting “golden moment” at night before things go one way or another. The artist’s proclivity for painting each character differently heightens the sense of “being alone in a crowd.” Throughout, Eisenman offers an insight into the isolation experienced in the pursuit of artistic creation and the very human need to seek diversion from that same pursuit.

Nicole Eisenman currently has a solo exhibition at the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, NY. She has also had solo shows at the Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland, Barbara Weiss Gallery, Berlin, Germany, and Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, in Mexico City, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, The Centraal Museum Utrecht, Holland and the San Francisco Art Institute.