Seriously Funny Al-ugh-ories

Seriously Funny Al-ugh-ories

Beer Garden with Ash (2009, oil on canvas, 65 x 82") is among the many expressionist marvels currently on view in Nicole Eisenman: Al-ugh-ories at the New Museum in NYC.

Since opening earlier this month at the New Museum in NYC, Nicole Eisenman: Al-ugh-ories – billed as the first NYC survey show of work by 2015 MacArthur Award-winner Nicole Eisenman 89 PT – has been attracting well-deserved attention.

“Any attention drawn to Eisenman benefits conversation about contemporary art,” notes New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl in a wonderful review titled Seriously Funny. “Eisenman’s resourceful Expressionism hints at the power of narrative painting to re-situate the art world in the world at large,” he writes.

When co-curator of the New Museum show Massimiliano Gioni asked Eisenman if she represents “the voice of a queer community,” she said, “No. God, no,” and went on to explain that she “couldn’t draw a line around a group of people and claim to have a voice for anyone other than [her]self.”

“Like her sexual self-assertion, Eisenman’s stylistic genres are means to the end of sustaining her confidence as an artist,” Schjeldahl writes.

“They are about being specific. She is a pragmatist in service to creativity that remembers the past, glories in the present, and eagerly addresses the future. She has said, “I’d love to jump ahead 30 years and look back at this moment in art. What will jump out?” She will, I bet.

Al-ugh-ories continues through June 26 at the New Museum.

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