Nicole Eisenman: Sturm und Drang

The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center, February 27 – August 16

By Holly Cowart
Nicole Eisenman: Sturm und Drang
Nicole Eisenman. Image courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photograph © Nathan Perkel.

This February, Austin will welcome a new set of visitors as Nicole Eisenman’s whimsical figures take over The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center. The Brooklyn-based artist is this year’s recipient of the Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize, which every two years grants a specially selected artist a solo exhibition, scholarly publication, $200,000 in prize money and unlimited possibilities.

Having previously exhibited in galleries around the world, this is Eisenman’s first independent show in Texas. Her work often combines Western art history with figuration, displaying a subtle yet intricate view of the human form. Titled “Sturm und Drang,” the upcoming retrospective references the literary movement in 18th-century Germany that vehemently praised the individual over the group. Similarly, Eisenman’s art delicately navigates among themes of feminism, sexuality, humor and emotion while rejecting the imposition of social influence and elitist tendencies. Alongside her well-established paintings and drawings, the series also highlights Eisenman’s progression into sculptural work, including the installation of an outdoor piece at The Contemporary’s 14-acre campus, Laguna Gloria.

Nicole Eisenman, Procession, 2019. Installation view, Whitney Biennial 2019, Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York, 2019. Artwork © Nicole Eisenman. Courtesy the artist and Vielmetter Los
Angeles. Image courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Photograph by Object Studies.

“The generous resources around this prize provide opportunities not only for the museum to present a full exhibition of current and past work, but also for the artist to explore new directions,” says the museum’s chief curator and director of curatorial affairs, Heather Pesanti. “In particular, Nicole’s recent turn to three-dimensional work is a testament to this next chapter: Her anti-monumental and enigmatic sculptures bring the painted bodies from her canvases into three-dimensional space.”

During the exhibition’s six-month stay, fully immerse yourself in Eisenman’s playful imagination and striking figures before they depart for The FLAG Art Foundation in New York on August 16.

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Nicole Eisenman: Sturm und Drang

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