At Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the playful and provocative practices of American artists Lee Lozano and Nicole Eisenman are drawn together in two exhibitions, running until 10 January 2021.
Known for her large narrative paintings defined by irreverent humour and a touch of gloom, Eisenman presents bright paper pulp drawings, paintings, and sculptures for her first solo exhibition with the gallery.
Works in this exhibition move fluidly between the two mediums, with a group of her signature languid figures gathered around a pond in the gallery's garden in the bronze and cement work, Fountain (2017).
Subverting the classical connotations of bronze, Eisenman creates a scene that speaks to contemporary feelings of isolation and longing. In her paintings and drawings, Lee Lozano combines a similar combination of wry humour and immediacy to scrutinise chauvinist sexuality.
Created between 1962 and 1963, the Lozano's paintings and drawings at Hauser & Wirth represent the earliest part of her decade-long practice. In 1969, Lozano would begin her 'gradual but determined' withdrawal from the art world with her famed General Strike Piece, which was supplemented by a series of actions, including boycotting and no longer speaking to women.
In the paintings and drawings on view, Lozano uses the airplane motif as a representation of male dominance—its fat and clumsy body ambushing dark, earthy-toned canvases.
Peppered with absurdist and whimsical elements, Eisenman's paper pulp drawings share a similar approach to condensing socio-political commentary in wry subject matter. She describes these as 'posters'—an apt description for their bright-hued immediacy, in which references to movie posters, advertisements, and internet memes allude to urban culture.
As with the roving airplane in Lozano's paintings and drawings, ideas and subject matter flow freely and defiantly throughout Eisenman's works. —[O]
Main image: Lee Lozano, Untitled (1962–1963). Oil on canvas over wood. 6.3 x 16.5 cm. © The Estate of Lee Lozano. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Ken Adlard.