The exhibition will be on display at the Whitechapel Gallery from the 11th October until the 14th January.

Image 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.

The Whitechapel Gallery have announced it will be presenting the first major UK retrospective of the artist Nicole Eisenman from October, bringing together over 100 works from across the artist’s three-decade career and many of which have not been seen in the UK before.

Works that will be displayed will include large-scale, monumental paintings alongside sculptures, monoprints, animation and drawings which will showcase the range and creativity behind her work. Meanwhile, the the themes behind Eisenman’s art includes: 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 set to be 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) are included. Also included in the exhibition is an animation created in collaboration with the artist Ryan McNamara  which brings to life a series of ten site-specific temporary murals Eisenman created between 1992 and 2003. 

Meanwhile, by the 2000s Eisenman began a series of humorous paintings that reflect what she felt was a decline in interest in her work at the time. Paintings in this section include From Success to Obscurity (2004) and Were-artist (2007) which depicts an artist, brush in hand, who has begun to metamorphosise into a monster. After this series of self-reflective works, Eisenman’s work changed to focus on broader subjects, including he global recession, the Iraq War and the re-election of George W Bush. This section will include works such as Coping (2008) and The Triumph of Poverty (2009).

Over the years, the artist has continued to use her work as a means of overt political statement and expression, and following the election of Donald Trump in 2016, she began a series of allegorical representations of the American right. Three large paintings are on display, including Heading Down River on the USS J-Bone of an Ass (2017) which depicts a group of sailors on a polluted river heading towards a waterfall and Dark Light (2017) which shows a group of MAGA-cap wearing men driving around in a pick-up truck, deliberately belching black fumes into the air.

The final section of the exhibition will feature Maker’s Muck (2022), a large sculpture that explores the nature of the creative process and acts as an informal survey of Eisenman sculptural practice. Also on display will be Eisenman’s most recent large-scale painting The Abolitionists in the Park which shows a gathering outside City Hall in New York during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Defund the Police demonstrations that took place in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

The exhibition is being presented in cooperation with Museum Brandhorst, Munich and curated by Mark Godfrey and Monika Bayer-Wermuth with the assistance of Cameron Foote at Whitechapel Gallery. The exhibition premiered earlier this year at Museum Brandhorst and following the Whitechapel Gallery will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, from 6 April to 1 September 2024.

For more information visit:


%d bloggers like this: