360 Speaker Series: Nicole Eisenman


September 21, 2019
11:30 a.m.

Nicole Eisenman explores the human condition in her critically acclaimed, wide-ranging prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture and mixed-media works. The emotionally resonant, cartoonish figures in Eisenman’s Sketch for a Fountain evoke a range of art historical references, from Greco-Roman fountain statuary to Paul Cézanne’s Bathers, to George Segal’s introspective figures.

Open to the public. Free with museum admission. Free for Members. Free for Students with ID. Garden reception to follow.

Nicole Eisenman Biography

Born in Verdun, France in 1965 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Nicole Eisenman has explored narrative and the figure in paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that combine references to art history with elements of popular culture and challenge our assumptions about gender, family, and such ordinary moments as having a meal, attending a party, or sharing a bed with a loved one. Elements of the absurd, the banal, the countercultural, and the queer intersect and mingle with references to such artists as Philip Guston, Pablo Picasso, Pieter Brueghel, and Max Beckmann. Eisenman emerged in the 1990s with raucous, satirical works that made no secret of her strongly feminist sensibility. In the years since, she has explored portraiture, multi-figure compositions, and intimate views of lovers. As a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Eisenman made sculptures, returning to the practice several years ago, most recently in works for the 2019 Whitney Biennale and the current Venice Biennale. 

Eisenman has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2013 Carnegie Prize for her contribution to the Carnegie International (see below) and, in 2015, a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship for, in the words of the MacArthur Foundation, “[restoring] to the representation of the human form a cultural significance that had waned during the ascendancy of abstraction in the twentieth century.” In 2014, the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis organized a two-decade survey that traveled to San Diego and Philadelphia, and in 2016 she had an exhibition at the New Museum, New York. Her work is in numerous museum collections, including the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kunsthalle Zürich; and many others.


Presenting Sponsor of 360: Martha and Max Wells.

The 360 videography project is supported by Suzanne and Ansel Aberly: this support enables digital recording of all 360 Speaker Series programs and the creation of an online archive for learners of all ages.