Lisa Yuskavage‘s works are characterized by an ongoing engagement with the history of painting. Her oeuvre bears witness to a re-emergence of the figurative in contemporary painting and takes its point of departure in part in the immediacy and tawdriness of contemporary life spurred by the mass media and the psycho-social realm of the individual. Over the past two decades, she has developed her own genre of the female nude: lavish, erotic, cartoonish, vulgar, angelic young women cast within fantastical landscapes or dramatically lit interiors. They appear to occupy their own realm while narcissistically contemplating themselves and their bodies. Rich, atmospheric skies frequently augment the psychologically-charged mood, further adding to the impression of theatricality and creative possibility.
Born in 1962 in Philadelphia, Yuskavage received her B.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in 1984 and her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Art in 1986. Since 2005, the artist’s work has been represented by David Zwirner. In 2006, two concurrent solo exhibitions were presented at David Zwirner and Zwirner & Wirth, New York, and her second gallery solo show was held in 2009. Her third solo show was presented in 2011 at David Zwirner, New York.
The artist’s work was recently included in a solo exhibition at The Royal Hibernian Academy, which formed part of Dublin Contemporary 2011, Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance, curated by Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Fauné. Yuskavage also presented a new pastel drawing made specifically for the historic Earlsfort Terrace exhibition site. Over the past decade, Yuskavage has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of prominent institutions worldwide, including the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2006); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2002); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2001); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2000).
Major recent group exhibitions include Between Picture and Viewer: The Image in Contemporary Painting, School of Visual Arts, New York; Face to Face, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado (both 2010); Bad Habits, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2009); Bad Painting – good art, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Diana and Actaeon: The Forbidden Glimpse of the Naked Body, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (both 2008); and Paint Made Flesh, which was first on view in 2008 at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee, and traveled to The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., and the Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester, New York.
Work by the artist is held in major museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She lives and works in New York.
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