new-york

Nicole Eisenman

Leo Koenig Inc. | 541 West 23rd

Yes, this is a review of that Nicole Eisenman, who, officially dubbed a “bad girl” in 1993, has received far too little critical consideration outside that nomenclature. Though the artist’s numerous virtuosic paintings, drawings, installations, and animations torque elements from high art (Renaissance to modern), low culture (porn to punk), and autobiography (lesbian libido to psychoanalyst dad), her status as bad-attitude dyke, bad-ass feminist, and even “bad” painter has been iterated again and again. And while Eisenman’s work can be read in any of these ways, one thing became clear on seeing her most recent exhibition: When it comes to painting qua painting, she’s really awfully good.

The eight oil paintings on canvas and one ink drawing on paper that made up “Elizaville” were so many lusciously rendered psychic landscapes whose topographies straddled the phantasmic and the real, marking

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2004 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.