Lily van der Stokker, Nicole Eisenman: Flowers for Frat Guys Sept. 5 through Oct.15 2023

Flowers for Frat Guys Installation view, Nicole Eisenman. Untitled Work on Paper; Untitled Work on Paper, 1997; Sloppy Barroom Kiss, 2011, Lithograph; Sleeping Frat Guy, 2013, Sculpture .
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation View Nicole Eisenman, Sleeping Frat Guy, 2013 (Sculpture); Lily van der Stokker, Cheap, Easy, Socks, Acrylic on Wood
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation View Nicole Eisenman, Billyclubs, 2012 Plaster On Wood; 2 Untitled 1997 . Works on Paper
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation VIew, Nicole Eisenman.
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation View : Nicole Eisenman, Sleeping Frat Guy ( Sculpture Sloppy Ballroom Kiss (LIthograph).
Flowers for Frat Guys Insall. View Lily van der Stokker, Nicole Eisenman,
Flowers For Frat Guys Installation View, Nicole Eisenman, Lily van der Stokker.
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation View. Nicole Eisenman.
Flowers for Frat Guys Installation View, Nicole Eisenman.
Images: Shark Senesac

Press Release

Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the opening of our first exhibition of the season Flowers for Frat Guys with works by Lily van der Stokker and Nicole Eisenman.

The exhibition examines the contrasts between these two notable artists’ approach to feminist aesthetics, and how each upends the expected conventions, and then some.

A centerpiece of the exhibition, Sleeping Frat Guy was a from series of works that Nicole Eisenman started around 2013 when first delving into sculpture. In it, Eisenman portrays the young, privileged white man, with unfettered access to every societal opportunity. The contemporary tropes of alcohol consumption and bad behavior sometimes comedically portrayed in our pop culture vernacular, is examined in “Sleeping Frat Guy.” Tacitly acknowledging that in real world experiences, these behaviors seldom bring about any consequences, “sleeping” underscores how deeply entrenched the supremacy of white males and their rituals are in society. In Eisenman’s hands, Frat Guy, along with the implied violence of the piece “Billy Clubs” provide a satirical look at stereotypical images of masculinity, with a caveat.  Withholding absolution, Eisenman incisively suggests the disembodied head is not only asleep, but it is wounded, scratched, misshapen, or maimed by the confines of its own toxic masculinity. Alongside the sculptures, the exhibition will show a number of works on paper that Eisenman populates with cartoonish figures—caught in comic-tragic circumstances.  Drawing from influences from renaissance to underground comics, Eisenman’s works often focus on community and queer love.

By contrast, Lily van der Stokker’s works are joyously armed and adorned with doodles, flowers and patterning often (and in the artists hand, intentionally) associated with stereotypes of femininity.  Lily van der Stokker has chosen to celebrate everyday chores, selective bits of intimate conversations, and snippets of thoughts about domesticity. While delving into the utterly mundane (which is often the domain of the feminine) van der Stokker employs signature candy-colored hues.  Resisting notions of artistic values that are staunchly cool-headed and removed, the artist reclaims ‘feminine’ aesthetics that have been historically scorned or dismissed. ‘We consider optimistic bright colors, curls and fun pink to be shallow and dumb. However, they seem to create a relaxing pleasure. It has been my life’s research to bring this beautiful strength into the forefront and to take away the negativity,’ she has said. As consequence, her work achieves the visual equivalent of “Killing with Kindness.”

Lily van der Stokker has exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions including those at Camden Art Centre, London; The Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Tate St.Ives, Cornwal St.Ives, St.Ives; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; and Le Consortium, Dijon among others. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel; Frac Normandie, Caen; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Art Club of Chicago, Chiacgo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; New Museum, New York; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen; and Villa Arson, Nice; among many others. Van der Stokker has completed numerous monumental public art projects such as the Celestial Teapot, Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht, (2013) and Pink Building during the World Expo in Hannover (2000). Van der Stokker’s work is in many permanent collections, including those of Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Le Consortium, Dijon; Musée des Beaux Arts de Nancy, Nancy; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester.

Nicole Eisenman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. Her work was included in the 2019 Venice Biennale, 2019 Whitney Biennial, and 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster in Münster, Germany. Having established herself as a painter, Nicole Eisenman has expanded her practice into the third dimension.

Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Heads, Kisses, Battles: Nicole Eisenman and the Moderns’ at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany (2021), traveling to Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2022), Fondation Vincent Van Gogh, Arles, France (2022), and Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Netherlands (2022); ‘Nicole Eisenman. Giant Without a Body’ at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (2021); ‘Nicole Eisenman and Keith Boadwee’ at the FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2020); ‘Nicole Eisenman. Sturm und Drang’ at The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX (2020); ‘Baden Baden Baden’ at Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany (2018); ‘Now or Never’, at Secession, Vienna, Austria (2017); and ‘Al-ugh-ories’ at New Museum, New York, NY (2016).

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