Nicole Eisenman: What Happened

11 October 2023 to 14 January 2024 Whitechapel Gallery

Credit: Nicole Eisenman, Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, 2011, Oil on canvas, 99.1 × 121.9 cm, Collection of Cathy and Jonathan Miller. Image Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles, Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer
Nicole Eisenman: What Happened brings together over 100 works from across the artist’s three-decade career – many of which have not previously been shown in the UK.  Encompassing large-scale, monumental paintings alongside sculptures, monoprints, animation and drawings, the exhibition showcases the extraordinary range and formal inventiveness that characterises her practice.

The works on display illuminate the critical, yet often highly humorous, commentary she uses to explore some of the most prescient socio-political issues of the day. Themes include gender, identity and sexual politics, recent civic and governmental turmoil in the United States, protest and activism, and the impact of technology on personal relationships and romantic lives.

The exhibition is arranged chronologically across eight sections, beginning with a series of ink drawings depicting lesbian life in downtown New York in the 1990s. Works including Untitled (Lesbian Recruitment Booth) (1992) and Captured Pirates on the Island of Lesbos (1992) combine eroticism with humour and wittily challenge conventional ideas about gender, while questioning patriarchal power-structures.

Also on show is an animation created in collaboration with the artist Ryan McNamara (b.1979, USA, lives and works in the USA) which brings to life a series of ten site-specific temporary murals Eisenman created between 1992 and 2003. This is the first time that these now-lost works have been represented in a survey of Eisenman’s work.

A full colour catalogue will accompany the show alongside as a rich public programme to help further explore the themes and issues raised by the exhibition and gain additional insights into the artists’ work and practice.

Nicole Eisenman: What Happened - 11 October 2023 – 14 January 2024, Galleries 1, 7, 8 & 9
Admission: £12.50 (Standard ticket); £9.50 (Concessions)

Further Information: Whitechapel Gallery - the artists’ gallery for everyone.