Jewish Artist: Nicole Eiseneman and the Strange Objects of Desire

Nicole Eisenman, “Sketch for a Fountain”, 2017-2019, 401 Park, Collection Samuels & Associates, Boston, GoodmanTaft and Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2019.

Born in France from American parents, Nicole Eisenman draws her inspiration both from the famands (rubens) in particular and from popular culture (comic strips, advertisements, television series and B movies). She owes a lot to Robert Crumb, who opened a path for her to follow and at the same time led her towards so-called “easel painting”.

in 2017 in Germany her ” Sketch for a Fountain ” sculptures were covered with swastikas and beheaded by followers of the far-right AfD party in an expression of violence similar to the daily fascism that transgender and intersex people continue to suffer.

Nicole Eisenman, who combines feminism, art history and popular culture, has recently gained recognition for her exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York in 2015 and is currently exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Whitney Biennale. Since the beginning of June, three of the vandalized sculptures, now in bronze, have been on permanent display in Boston, at 401 Park, following a commission from the collector Steve Samuels.

All in such a work squeaks and sometimes copulates from the inside of the attic. The critical spirit of the satire remains on every floor where the German expressionism of the interwar years is still alive and kicking. Desire remains at the center of this vision. But its object takes various forms. It plays on something of the being but also of the society that exploits it.

Thus, under the aspect of satire, a shared unconscious becomes the representation of both lack and abundance.

In the middle of the abundance dominates a relationship with an absent star. As a result, the artist brings in sadness through laughter. Each work gives the impression that under the black sun dear to Nerval lies a deep sense of sadness for those who recognize more or less implicitly the loss of the object of their sexual desire. But the narcissistic clause in the artist’s work is closed. And it is as if instead of mourning the subject dies with an object that is not the right one.

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