While allegory employs ‘machinery,’ it is not an engineer’s type of machinery at all. It does not use up real fuels, does not transform such fuels into real energy. Instead, it is a fantasized energy, like the fantasized power conferred on the shaman by his belief in deamons.
Angus Fletcher, Allegory
Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of new works by Nicole Eisenman entitled, Progress: Real and Imagined. The centerpiece of the exhibition are two large scale panels that make a complete work that spans 8×30 feet. Within the painting, Eisenman revisits many themes and characters that have appeared in previous works, creating an allegorical treatise on a diverse range of topics.
One panel centrally depicts an artist studio as an Ark. Adrift, a figure furiously draws, seemingly unaffected by the cascade of influence and history that crashes down. There is much going on beyond the confines of the ark, but the artists’ focus is so intense, that nothing seems to break the spell. There is a bit of “Nero plays while Rome Burns” in the painting, suggesting the conflict of the thinking contemporary artist struggling with both the ordinary and the immense issues of the day.
On the other panel, a landscape unfolds. Here, Eisenman’s vision spans frenetically from Goddess mythology, creation myths, and carnivorous obsession. In this work, babies float down rivers, to be scooped out & auctioned off, hamburgers appear as pods of desire, exploding upon impact while wormholes in space open up windows into alternative realities. Eisenman explores the idea of progress, creating a distopian universe whose populace is besotted with instant gratification and whose existence is underlined with a routine violence, where it seems completely rational that women hunt men for their sperm, and inseminate each other with high-powered rifles.
This is a truly epic work which touches on the sympathetic journeys between the internal evolution of the artist at work traversing an interior mindscape, and the actual passage to a future state that is both inviting and dangerous. In addition to this work, Ms. Eisenman will present a series of smaller paintings that could be viewed as singular portholes emanating from the larger work.
Nicole Eisenman has been included numerous exhibitions, notably the Whitney Biennial in 1995. She has had solo exhibitions at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, in Mexico City, The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, The Centraal Museum Utrecht, Holland and the San Francisco Art Institute. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. As well, her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Ludwig Museum Cologne and the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia.