Beer Garden with Ulrike and Celeste
- MaterialOil on canvas
- Dimensions208.3 x 165.1 cm
- On viewBasement floor
- Copyright© Nicole Eisenman. Hall Collection. Courtesy Hall Art Foundation. Photo: Bryan Conley
More about the artwork
In addition to Eisenman’s strategy of depicting figures as if they had sprung from a particular chapter in art history, the two beer garden paintings reflect her shift towards interpersonal encounters and spaces. Although the artist brings dozens of people together here for shared pleasures—eating, drinking, smoking—, each individual seems impassive and introverted; there is rarely any interaction between two individuals. In both works, she transfers the social complexity of a Montmartre street café of the 1870s to the Brooklyn artists’ scene of the 21st century: these are familiar places where contemporaries such as Ulrike Müller, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and A.K. Burns meet to discuss their works, let off steam, switch off, or complain about the misery of human existence. Eisenman herself also appears in “Beer Garden with A.K.” (2009), drinking beer in the background. On the one hand, the supposedly exuberant nightlife belies rivalry, isolation, depression, and sexual assault; on the other, it creates a unifying, life-affirming moment in an uncertain time.