As the winner of the 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize, New York–based artist Nicole Eisenman presents a solo exhibition at The Contemporary Austin’s downtown venue, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, with an outdoor sculpture also to be installed at the museum’s fourteen-acre sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. Encompassing a wide range of media including drawing, painting, and sculpture, this exhibition focuses on the artist’s anti-monumental and enigmatic three-dimensional work, and will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue. A related exhibition will travel to The FLAG Art Foundation in New York, opening October 3, 2020.
Eisenman’s practice blends the influence of Western art history and traditional figuration with elements of punk music, feminist activism, queer sexuality, humor, and emotional rawness to create profoundly unique works. Eisenman emerged in the early 1990s in New York City as a painter, and the bulk of her creative output for nearly four decades has been in the form of two-dimensional work including paintings, drawings, and occasionally collages and photographs. More recently, the artist has begun making three-dimensional, figurative work: indoor and outdoor sculptures that both reference and depart from conventional forms and narratives, often combined in allegorical multiples or compositions akin to those in her paintings.
Eisenman was selected for the prize by an independent advisory committee composed of renowned curators and art historians from across the US, led by Heather Pesanti, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin. The advisory committee for the 2020 prize included Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Lauren Haynes, Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Eungie Joo, Curator of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Helen Molesworth, critic; and Lilian Tone, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; along with institutional advisor Stephanie Roach, Director of The FLAG Art Foundation.
Nicole Eisenman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a MacArthur Foundation fellow and was nominated into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. A solo exhibition of her work premiered at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany, in fall 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include Dark Light, Vielmetter Los Angeles; Dark Light, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Al-ugh-ories, New Museum, New York; and Magnificent Delusion, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Having established herself as a painter, Eisenman has, for the last six years, expanded her practice into the third dimension. This will be the artist’s first exhibition in Austin, and first solo museum show in Texas.