The General

Artist: Nicole Eisenman
sculpture | Bronze, stainless steel, paint, and cloth | 762x838x483mm | 2018

The figures in Nicole Eisenman’s sculptural ensemble Procession appear downtrodden, yet they carry on and move forward. For the artist this tension poses questions about what it looks like to be disenfranchised, but also part of a community, and about how to protest when protests feel like a constant cycle. Eisenman often combines traditional materials such as bronze and plaster with foam, sneakers, clothing, fog machines, and fountains that hint at bodily realities that sculpture has traditionally worked to transcend. Ultimately Eisenman seeks to pull the viewer into her mirrored view of the world, which she has created as a means of carefully examining our own. Procession also features a live video feed of the Museum’s eighth-floor gallery where Gamma Delta (1959–60) by Morris Louis is on view as part of the exhibition Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s. The video presents a thermal mapping of the gallery overlaid with an animation. Museums and art institutions have often been characterized as secular temples dedicated to the vision of the historically male “genius.” In the video feed Eisenman subverts the sanctity of that space and questions the cultural framework that has been built up around such places. (Collection of Eric Green. Image courtesy the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, and Anton Kern Gallery, New York)


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)