Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 - 2:58 pm

San Diego, CA—On May 9, 2015, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993-2013 at its La Jolla location. The exhibition is the largest midcareer survey to date of the celebrated American artist and will remain on-view through September 6, 2015.

For high-resolution images, interviews with the exhibition curator, Elizabeth Rooklidge, or Nicole Eisenman, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub, or Communications Associate Patricia B. Dwyer.

Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993-2013was originated by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), and arrives in San Diego following its showing at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania. The exhibition includes more than 120 works, charting the development of Eisenman’s practice across painting, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture from the 1990s to the present.

Over the past 20 years, Eisenman has developed a creative and versatile vision that combines high and low culture with virtuosic skill. Fusing centuries-old art-making conventions and a multitude of art historic influences—including impressionism, German expressionism, and twentieth-century social realist painting—with contemporary subject matter, she depicts settings and themes as varied as bar scenes, motherhood, and the plight of the artist.

Among her core concerns are depictions of community, identity, and sexuality. Eisenman’s continual representation of women (both “butch” and “femme”) and female love not only imbues the practice of figurative painting with an audaciously queer bent but also recasts art history in a feminist light. Her wit spares no one and nothing, and it is indeed through her humor and the discomfort caused by her work that she communicates the multifaceted richness of the human condition. Her incisive sociopolitical critique operates through the quotidian and the absurd, in ways that are both formally playful and visually breathtaking.

Roberta Smith, The New York Times art critic, labeled the exhibition’s ICA installment an “end-of-the-year must see,” adding that “it shows an immensely talented graphic artist — cartoonist; pointed social commentator, especially about the art world and same-sex love; and all-around pillager of art history — morphing into one of the best painters of the moment.”

Nicole Eisenman (b. 1965, Verdun, France) lives and works in New York City. Eisenman was recently awarded the Carnegie Prize for her work in the 2013 Carnegie International. Recent solo exhibitions include MATRIX 248, Berkeley Art Museum (2013); ‘Tis but a scratch’ ‘A scratch?! Your arm’s off!’ ‘No, it isn’t.,’ Studio Voltaire, London (2012); Nicole Eisenman: The Way We Weren’t, The Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (2009); and Nicole Eisenman, Kunsthalle Zurich (2007). Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions such as The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, Russia (2014); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum, New York (2013); the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012, 1995); Prospect.2 New Orleans (2011); and 100 Artists See God, The Jewish Museum, San Francisco (2004); among many others. Eisenman is the recipient of several awards including an Anonymous Was a Woman Grant, the John Simon Guggenheim Grant, The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant. Her work is in the collections of many museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modesrn Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Ludwig Museum, Cologne.

Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993–2013 has been organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curator Kelly Shindler. Major support for the exhibition and catalogue has been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Koenig & Clinton, New York; Karin and Peter Haas; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Ringier AG, Zürich; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin; Cathy and Jonathan Miller; Richard Gerrig and Timothy Peterson, and the Hall Art Foundation.

Funding for the San Diego presentation is made possible by generous lead funding from the Dow Diva Investment Club. “The Dow Diva Investment Club is thrilled to be providing lead funding for Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993-2013,” said Iris Strauss, the President of the group. “We are committed to supporting the arts and culture in San Diego, and are especially pleased that our gift is being used to support this exciting, midcareer survey by an evocative female artist.”

Additional underwriting support has been provided by Fenner Milton and proceeds from the 2014 Biennial Art Auction. Institutional support of MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.




Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.