The largest definitive mid-career survey of the work of celebrated American artist Nicole Eisenman to date, Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993–2013 includes more than 120 works, charting the development of Eisenman’s practice across painting, printmaking, and drawing 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.
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 Group. 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.