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Nicole Eisenman’s Allegorical Possibilities

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Stephen Maine reviews two recent exhibitions: Nicole Eisenman: Al-ugh-gories at the New Museum and Nicole Eisenman: Magnificent Delusion at Anton Kern Gallery.

Maine begins: “One of the intriguing things about Eisenman’s paintings is that their anecdotal specificity opens up the interpretive possibilities, rather than delimiting them. Whether we’re looking at a portrait of a single subject or a street scene bustling with dozens of figures, we think we might know roughly what’s going on, but our doubts provoke keen pleasure. Some paintings might seem to be more straightforward than others—but given Eisenman’s gift for innuendo and intrigue, it’s hard to be sure. Just when you think you have a painting pretty much worked out, something throws you off. It resists definitive interpretation.”

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