The Easel

11th August 2020

Nicole Eisenman: Walking Together

Although she made her name in painting, Eisenman’s work has shifted significantly toward sculpture. Like her paintings, her sculptures are mostly figurative – “apocalyptic misfits”, some in abject poses, more that are lumbering forward toward who knows where. Their size and worked surfaces emphasise physicality, expressing Eisenman’s view that painting’s impact is “from the neck up and sculpture … from the neck down.”

4th August 2020

Resilience: Philip Guston in 1971

Guston’s famous switch from abstraction to figuration in 1970, as told by his daughter. After 20 years, abstract expressionism was still commercially successful but he felt it was accompanied by “overwhelming apathy”. His 1970 exhibition greatly divided opinion, one critic describing the cartoonish figures as “Ku Klux Komix”. That critic later recanted, admitting that Guston had given memorable form to unhappy America’s “sense of alienation, post traumatic emptiness”.