Table of contents
This here is Spira. Everything that’s flying around here.
Spira is at home here, and sometimes even everywhere at once.
Spira absorbs everything that the visitors think and say here. Like a sponge!
That gives Spira new strength. After all, as a spirit, you can’t simply eat a cereal.
If someone gets bored in the museum, or can’t think of what to say, Spira helps out.
Because Spira has made it its business to pass on all thoughts and ideas that have occurred here.
At night, when all the visitors have gone and it becomes quiet, Spira is usually bored and its strength wanes. Fortunately, the artworks distract Spira somewhat. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time. Nevertheless, Spira can’t wait until the doors open again in the morning.
What’s making all that noise?
The sounds Spira heard came from the exhibition “Nicole Eisenman. What happened.” Spira follows them.
Go with Spira and explore works by artist Nicole Eisenman!
Why do you think the different characters set out on their journey? What is their destination, and where have they come from?
Do you know the different materials it is made of? You will find some clues here.
Drawing Class, 2011
As part of an exhibition, Nicole Eisenman gave a drawing class for visitors to the Whitney Museum in New York. As in the painting, nude drawing involves drawing or painting a model – a human or a statue – without clothing.
What secrets can you discover in this picture?
The impulse points will help you to explore!
Which people are gathered here? Who is painting whom here?
The title of this picture is composed of the two English words ‘were’ and ‘artist.’ ‘Were’ is an old English word for human being. Thus, a werewolf is something like a human being who becomes a wolf. Nicole is concerned here with the transformation from human to artist. This change does not happen voluntarily, but takes possession of the person concerned.
How do you imagine being an artist? Nicole has thought
a lot about her own profession. What does she show us
from her everyday life?
How does Nicole Eisenman paint hands? Can you find a picture where the hands look pretty creepy to you?
The Heads of Nicole Eisenman
While setting up the exhibition, Spira listened to the artist. One tip from Nicole particularly stuck in her mind: “If you don‘t know what to draw, draw a head.”
Many artists have studied the depiction of people. The head is then often what is depicted. The image of a person can appear very different. Sometimes it is realistic like a photo, sometimes abstract and without reference to reality – depending on the moment in which you depict the person and which colors, shapes or materials you choose.
What are the things a head needs to be recognized as such?
What feelings do you see in the different heads?
How do the colors and materials help?
Mermaid Catch, 1996
Splish, splash, can you smell the sea?
Who do you think is more powerful, and why? Who occupies more space? Who is more clueless? Who is looking where?
Can you imagine what the men on the boat are talking about? What have they been doing? Where would they like to go later?
There are always many different ways to tell a story. Depending on the person and what they see, hear, know … it can turn out very differently.
A family feast is being celebrated, the faces around the table range from attentive interest to thoughtfulness to boredom. There is also someone who seems amused by her dish! Despite the festivity, everyone present brings their own hopes and concerns to the table.
Do you have any idea what everyone here is eating and why they are holding books in their hands?
Who has gathered here for dinner? What is the mood like?
Pick a person in the picture. But don‘t say which one you chose. Now describe them, for example, by the way they are painted. What is the person thinking or feeling? Can your friends or parents guess who you have chosen?
In dreams and in art, anything is possible: what is on your celebratory table? And who is there? Draw it in this picture.
Reality Show, 2022
The title of the work is „Reality Show,“ a term to describe a program about events that take place in the real world featuring people like you and me. But is everything shown in these television programs truly real? The person on the couch experiences the reality of other people. But they themself are motionless and gather dust.
We perceive the world through our senses. We hear, see, smell, taste or touch. All our senses help us to develop feelings. Through our body, and with tools such as brushes, cameras, computers, and more, we can express something we feel inside.
Artists like Nicole Eisenman create artworks that express their ideas. These works trigger a wide variety of thoughts and feelings in us.
Sometimes a painting reminds us of something we have heard, tasted, smelled or felt. How can this be?
The pulse points will help you explore!