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SFAI Gallery

Nicole Eisenman
December 2, 1994 - January 15, 1995

Walter/McBean Gallery
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street, S.F. CA 94113

Nicole Eisenman, whose neoclassical wall paintings incorporate subversive imagery, is a superb draftsman. In all of her work, she uses her technical skill to convey messages of social concern, and these messages are suffused with humor, ridicule, irony, and often violence. She takes cues not only from classical and neoclassical art, but also such disparate sources as Marc Chagall, Norman Rockwell, Delacroix, Titian, and the turn-of-the-century New York Ashcan School. She has also absorbed styles derived from comic books, television, pornography and images from pop culture. Often breaking taboos, she confounds our expectations by dressing powerful, nightmarish messages in comfortably familiar art historical and popular guises, and wrapping them in a biting humor.

In a recent review in The New York Times, Holland Cotter called Eisenman's April exhibition at the Jack Tilton Gallery in New York ". . . among the smartest, funniest, most inventive solo exhibitions of the season. . . . [Eisenman's] mini-narratives, visual puns and mythological burlesques, executed in a fluid draftsmanly style, bring Reginald Marsh and comic-book fantasy together. . . . They're all part of the show in which provocative ideas go whizzing by at every turn and where confrontation and humor -- surely a subversive strategy -- meet in audacious combinations."

Born in 1965, Nicole Eisenman received a BFA in 1987 from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited her work widely, including recent solo exhibitions at Jack Tilton Gallery in New York and the Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica. Eisenman has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the recent shows Identity: The Logic of Appearance, curated by Shoshana Blank, at the Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna; Bad Girls at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; The Seventh Wave, curated by Stephen Foster, at the John Hansard Gallery, South Hampton, England; Arrested Childhood, curated by Bonnie Clearwater, at the Center for Contemporary Art in Miami; and 1920 at Exit Art, New York. Her work was shown in the 1995 Whitney Biennial.