Collection Artwork
Nicole Eisenman (born Verdun, France, 1965)
Hillbilly Moonlight Dance
1994
oil on canvas
canvas size: 71 3/4 x 53 x 1 3/4 in.
frame size: 74 1/4 x 55 3/4 x 2 3/8 in.
Gift of Peter Norton
2014.7.22

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

Tang Collective Catalog


Nicole Eisenman’s Hillbilly Moonlight Dance sets up a curious juxtaposition between early twentieth century modernist painting and American Atomic Age animation. Eisenman references La Danse by Henri Matisse at the top of the canvas, with a ring of dancers around a bound figure. The tone of this piece is consistent with Eisenman’s on-brand sinister humor: a tall flame in the foreground illuminates the group of captors, creating the illusion of the bound figure being burned at the stake. Eisenman commands direction of sight by aligning her figures, from the top down, to the color spectrum – working from the blood-orange of the dancers, to an olive-green hill, to the pthalo blue Hillbillies. The titular hillbillies in the forefront appear to be a cross between Picasso’s blue period figures (the one on the far right specifically reminiscent of The Old Guitarist) and Hanna-Barbera’s Yogi the Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and other early television anthropomorphs.
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Pattern by Fiona McLaughlin ’20
Inspired by the exhibition Opener 28 - Erika Verzutti: Mineral
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.