Regen Projects is pleased to announce representation of New York-based artist Aliza Nisenbaum. The artist will present new work at Art Basel this June and debut her first exhibition with the gallery on September 12, 2024.


An early, leading figure in the centrality of representation and portraiture to artmaking of the last decade, Nisenbaum develops vibrant, figurative paintings through a form of participatory observation. She forges relationships with her subjects and connects meaningfully to the complex communities they create together.


Prior subjects have included immigrant communities in Queens, New York; singers and production crew at The Metropolitan Opera; Transport for London staffers and National Health Service workers in England; security personnel at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and Shinmyeong, a theatrical troupe from Gwangju, South Korea. Rich in color, formal play, and always dynamically composed, Nisenbaum’s paintings materialize the vitality inherent in an aesthetic simultaneously invested in formal and social urgencies.


On the occasion of the announcement, Shaun Caley Regen stated:


“I first encountered Aliza Nisenbaum’s work at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, and through a mutual friend we arranged to meet for the first time that year, I was quite intrigued by the figurative nature of the work, how it engaged in social practice, and celebrated often less visible communities. Aliza and I stayed in touch, and finally, in March of 2020, I was able to visit her in a temporary studio in Los Angeles where she had just completed the most stunning portrait of a salsa dancer. Everything from the colors to the composition were magnificent, as though Aliza’s love and care for her subject exalted her in the most caring and profound way. Of course, this was the beginning of Covid and the quarantine, but also the beginning of a great dialogue with Aliza about her continuing search for sincere connections to the world around us. Aliza is a generous and thoughtful humanist, and a very diligent painter. I am thrilled that Regen Projects will be representing her.”


Informed by her origins in Mexico and prior work with immigrant and diasporic communities, Nisenbaum’s most recent body of work features dance troupes, studios, and teachers sharing and developing their craft in east LA. Often characterized by imaginative ensembles and settings filled with animating and highly descriptive patterning, Nisenbaum’s eye for detail and translation of the observed world into complex, narrative tableaux reveals her deep awareness and clear delight in the possibilities of painting to narrate human experience and the relationships that sustain us.


By fostering connections and sharing skills and resources over extended periods of time, Nisenbaum develops an understanding of the identities, histories, and contexts that frame her subjects. As such, her practice expands—and even exceeds—the delimited space of a painted portrait. Nisenbaum began working in this way over a decade ago, in response to her participation in artist Tania Bruguera’s Immigrant Movement International in 2012, where she taught women English by guiding their translation of texts on artists such as Mary Cassatt and Frida Kahlo from English to Spanish. Inspired by their life stories and her own emergent bonds to them, Nisenbaum asked to paint her students, initiating a way of working that aligns portraiture and painting with forms of connection and engagement.


Nisenbaum’s paintings illuminate the material conditions of her sitter’s lives and orchestrate symbolic languages evocative of their unique subjectivities. The artist deploys a broad range of painterly grammars, applying continuous grounds with bold, broad brushstrokes; articulating the contours of a subject’s face with interlocking, Fauvist tracts of vivid color; or detailing, with naturalistic precision, the design of a tiled wall, a decorative blanket, or an embroidered blouse.


Informed by a diversity of artistic and political traditions, Nisenbaum’s pictures (and the process through which they are made) recall forebears such as Alice Neel, Sylvia Sleigh, and Diego Rivera. Mindful of the ever-intensifying specter of technology that shapes our daily lives, Nisenbaum’s paintings celebrate the occasions and imperatives that turn our attention away from our screens and devices. Recalling sociologist Émile Durkheim’s theory of ‘collective effervescence,’ they remind us of the many pleasures of whatever brings us together to participate in the world that surrounds us.


In addition to Regen Projects, the artist is represented by Anton Kern in New York.



Aliza Nisenbaum (b. 1977, Mexico City) earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2001, and an MFA from the same institution in 2005.


Selected solo and two-person exhibitions of the artist’s work include The Metropolitan Opera, New York (2023–2024); Queens Museum (2023); Delta Air Lines x Queens Museum at LaGuardia Airport, New York (2022); Kemper Museum of Art (2022); Tate Liverpool (2020); Minneapolis Institute of Art (2017–2018); and Illinois State University (2007).


Nisenbaum’s work is held in the permanent collections of museums and public institutions worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago; Arts Council, Dublin; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum Sander Darmstadt; Norwich Castle Museum; The Perimeter, London; Tate, London; University of Chicago Booth School of Business Art Collection; Art, Design and Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Nisenbaum is the recipient of a Creative Capital Award (2024); and has been a Gala Honoree of the Hirshhorn Museum (2021) and The Phillips Collection (2019). She is a Tate Americas foundation honoree (2019), the recipient of a Provost’s Junior Faculty Diversity Development Award from Columbia University (2017), a Fellowship for Immigrant Women Leaders and Women’s Cabinet from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (2015), and a Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant (2013).


On the occasion of her 2021 exhibition of the same name, Tate published Aliza Nisenbaum: Taking Care, and a monograph devoted to her practice, entitled Aliza Nisenbaum: Monograph, was published by Hatje Cantz in 2019.


She lives and works in New York, NY.


For all press inquiries, please contact +1 310 276 5424 or Grant Johnson at


For all other inquiries, please contact Jennifer Loh, Stephanie Dudzinski, Magnus Edensvard, or Anthony Salvador at