Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ridicule and Compassion: Nicole Eisenman

Van Gogh reference

Millet reference?
Eisenman surprises me.  When I first looked her art up on google images and later went to the 2012 Whitney Biennial... her art seemed too close on the spectrum of ridicule-and-compassion to George Condo, "Prince of Sardonicism".  However, after I saw the recent show at Leo Koenig in Chelsea I got a glimpse of a different side of her... one that I could relate to.  She seems to have been inspired by expressionist artists like Ensnor, Munch, Goya, Picasso, Van Gogh, Millet, Otto Dix and Ernst.  There is something so fresh about modernism and it's roots and I'm glad she's giving it some thought.  Works on paper from that era especially interest me... that unique and sincere blend of modest traditional mediums with creative interpretation and imagination.  With these works Eisenman gives us her take on tradition.  Compared to her monotypes (what she had exhibited at The Whitney) these etchings and woodcuts are so intriguing, intimate, soulful, and humorous.  They're bluesy and folksy but still have a bit her funky silliness... a nice balance if you ask me.  In a way she has set aside the trendy rock star stuff and given us a rich unplugged album.  Moreover, the dexterity, the finely scratched and carved line work apparent in her etchings and woodcuts, which is absent in her naive and crass styled monotypes, coupled with the expressionist quality of the prints makes these works pleasing to the eye and heart.  Great stuff Nicole!

The monotypes I'm not a fan of
A bit too silly
I like this monotype

Picasso reference?

The Good Stuff...

Good art doesn't have to be terribly complicated

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