Nicole Eisenman: PrinceSeptember 23 – December 5, 2021 and February 3 – May 1, 2022
Virtual Live Chat with the Artist: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
An exhibition at the UMCA of prints by internationally renowned artist Nicole Eisenman is the artist’s first museum exhibition to focus solely on their remarkable prints (lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, paper pulp prints, and monotypes). Despite Eisenman’s reputation as one of the leading artists of our time, this exhibition provides a first glimpse into the range of the artist’s exploration and experimentation in printmaking.
Influenced by Expressionism, Impressionism, and Pablo Picasso, Eisenman explores the human condition, populating their works with emotionally resonant, cartoonish figures, formed out of exaggerated, painterly lines and intense colors. Full of pathos and dark humor, they are expressionistic portraits of Eisenman and friends, or imagined characters based on critical observations of everyday life and culture, combining representation and abstraction, caricature and the grotesque, gender instability, and queerness. Eisenman’s figures seem isolated and contemplative — products of our time, reflections of ourselves.
Eisenman, in collaboration with designer Tiffany Malakootie, has designed an exhibition poster, including an essay by Faye Hirsch, an editor and critic who has published widely on contemporary art and has known the artist for 25 years.
Parallel to this exhibition is a selection of historic prints and drawings from the Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum that relate closely to the imagery and techniques of Eisenman’s prints in the exhibition, selected by UMass Art History Associate Professor Karen Kurczynski and Graduate Assistant Abigail Clark. The selection of works is based on the artist's own interests as well as formal and iconographic connections that provide a productive dialogue between modern and contemporary perspectives.