Since the 1990s the American artist Nicole Eisenman (born 1965 in Verdun, France, lives and works in New York) has garnered attention with her figurative paintings that, playfully and with great artistic freedom, cross stylistic and compositional elements from the history of art from Renaissance painting to modernism with comics, slapstick, TV culture, pornography, and subcultural image strategies.
Central to Eisenman’s oeuvre is a complex, excessive, drawing-based work that comprises all the classical picture genres as well as a wit formulated between the outrageous and the idiotic. Nicole Eisenman’s work is an inspired and gleeful deconstruction of conventions in art and society and it questions social models above all by reversing the clichés of female and male roles. It is about power and powerlessness, about art and commerce, consumerism and sex, about the possibilities made available by professionalism and dilettantism, and how artistic success and everyday life are constructed. At the same time her work deals with the subsequent question of how the individual and she herself as artist and woman can take up a position within these roles. Eisenman’s narratives of grotesque reformulations of social orders, or her depictions of human individuality, are always interspersed with possible failure or scenic breakdown: the pictorial content, the painting procedure, and the message contradict each other, and investigate a state of decline in historical as well as current conventions.
The book is a new monograph dedicated to her work and is published in the Kunsthalle Zürich series. — Publisher’s blurb.