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This Autumn, Whitechapel Gallery presents the first major UK retrospective of the artist Nicole Eisenman (b.1965, France, lives and works in the USA) from 11 October 2023 to 14 January 2024. 

Nicole Eisenman: What Happened brings together over 100 works from across the artist’s three-decade career – many of which have not previously been shown in the UK. 

The exhibition showcases the extraordinary range and formal inventiveness that characterises her practice by encompassing large-scale, monumental paintings alongside sculptures, monoprints, animation, and drawings. The works on display illuminate the critical, yet often highly humorous, commentary she uses to explore some of the most prescient socio-political issues of the day. 

Themes include 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 arranged chronologically across eight sections, beginning with 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) combine eroticism with humour and wittily challenge conventional ideas about gender while questioning patriarchal power structures. Eisenman’s work later underwent a marked shift to explore wider topical concerns.

More information on Nicole Eisenman: What Happened at www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/nicole-eisenman-what-happened/

Nicole Eisenman: What Happened is on from 11 October – 14 January 2023 at Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX, United Kingdom.

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