Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nicole Eisenman


Nicole Eisenman’s Seder (2010), the featured work in the Museum’s Masterpieces & Curiosities exhibition series. In a painting style reminiscent of George Grosz or Max Beckmann and with a nod to Renoir’s  and Bonnard’s luncheon scenes, Eisenman’s group portrait takes a humorous, loving if somewhat ironic look at the Seder in its current American incarnation. This 21st Century Seder includes nine participants of varied ages and levels of involvement, from interested and engaged to bored or even asleep, whose faces are portrayed in painting styles ranging from the realistic to the grotesque.  Amusingly, the artist places the viewer in the role of seder “leader” and narrator - it is our enlarged, cartoonish hands that seem to break the afikomen in half. The painting offers up a familiar prospect, the traditional Seder plate, with its Romaine leaf and other symbolic items, flanked by a bottle of Gold’s red horseradish, cups of red wine and iconic red, yellow and black Hagaddahs at hand. LINK jewish museum

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