Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee
United by similar artistic questions—as well as three decades of friendship—Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee's joint exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation tosses aside conventions of taste in exchange for humor and critique.
Eisenman utilizes various media—including paintings, sculptures, and drawings—to deconstruct canonical art history and the power structures encompassed by it. In her "Sleeping Frat Guy" series [example pictured], for instance, plaster sculptures take the shape of bulbous, distorted heads that seem to ooze and drip, nearly falling over in states of unconsciousness from their plinths—a literal overturning of the classical male bust as a means of lionizing the human subject it depicts. Elsewhere, beyond Eisenman's caricatures of patriarchal symbols, also on view are portraits of her friends and lovers, including an odalisque-like painting of Boadwee.
Boadwee's selections in the exhibition take part in a similar upending of art historical forms in his practice of performatively expelling paint onto his canvases. By creating patterns determined by gravity and chance, his work parodies the gestural paintings of the Abstract Expressionists while at once extending their project. In this way, Boadwee becomes both the artist and the medium. Presented at FLAG are over 250 of his scatological drawings, which reveal scenes ranging from the every day to the fantastical. But more than shock and humor, Boadwee's works are driven by an awareness of the body in all its messiness and pleasures.
Nicole Eisenman, Sleeping Frat Guy I, 2013. Plaster, ceramic, and leather string, 30 x 16 ½ x 13 ½ inches. Collection of Jaclyn Tiffen and Jacob Mille.