“Great, Getting Better”: Inquirer’s Thomas Hine on Eisenman’s mid-career survey

Nicole Eisenman

Nicole Eisenman, Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, 2011, oil on canvas, 39 x 48 inches. Collection of Cathy and Jonathan Miller. Courtesy the artist and Susan Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

She can draw beautifully and paint even better. She is obviously smart. Her work is often extremely funny. She seems to have swallowed up the entire history of art, digested it, and, occasionally, regurgitated it. She’s amazing. Go see.

Yet even as I was blown away by her virtuosity, I kept wondering where it was going, and what it would add up to. Yes, I see the influences of everyone from Breugel to Max Beckmann to Hanna-Barbera. But by being so allusive, the artist herself is elusive. What does Eisenman have to say for herself?

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