Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings | David Zwirner

Lisa Yuskavage

New Paintings

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Lisa Yuskavage. On view at 533 West 19th Street in New York, this will be the artist’s seventh solo show with the gallery.

In this exhibition, Lisa Yuskavage continues her long-standing exploration of what constitutes a model, exceptionally summoning the history of her own work as part of that process. Its two rooms are defined by contrasting moods that the artist has often intertwined within individual paintings, and which both engage with aspects of art making. The first includes a group of works that confront the viewer on varied levels, recalling the tension between seer and seen. Addressing issues of vulnerability, power, and rage, they reference an art-historical sub-tradition “in which rudeness fortifies erudition and corrosive humor strips humanism of all sentimentality,” exemplified by artists such as Francisco Goya and Philip Guston.1

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1 Quote provided by Yuskavage from Robert Storr, Guston (New York: Abbeville Press, 1983), p. 54.

Images: Lisa Yuskavage, Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2018–2020 (detail). Lisa Yuskavage, Yellow Studio, 2021 (detail). Lisa Yuskavage, Pink Studio (Rendezvous), 2021 (detail)

Dates
September 9October 23, 2021
Installation view of Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

“[Yuskavage’s] big studio paintings are as much color studies as narratives. Different shades of the dominant color define the crisp forms of furnishings and reiterate color samples taped to the wall. Study the backgrounds for themselves; they are, in different ways, breathtaking.”

—Roberta Smith, art critic

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Pink Studio (Rendezvous), dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Pink Studio (Rendezvous), 2021
Oil on linen
77 x 70 inches (195.6 x 177.8 cm)

Four new large-scale color-field compositions each depict an artist’s studio or art classroom. Combining a variety of processes, techniques, characters, and references, the works epitomize painting’s ability to compress time.

In these new works, Yuskavage mines her own image history, revisiting specific paintings from the past three decades by depicting them as works in progress within new narratives.

Lisa Yuskavage, Home, 2018 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Home, 2018 (detail)

A Lisa Yuskavage, Dude of Sorrows, 2015 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Dude of Sorrows, 2015 (detail)


Lisa Yuskavage, Dude of Sorrows, 2015 (detail)


Lisa Yuskavage, Big Blonde with Hairdo, 1994

Lisa Yuskavage, Big Blonde with Hairdo, 1994 (detail)


Lisa Yuskavage, Big Blonde with Hairdo, 1994 (detail)


Lisa Yuskavage mixes paint in her Brooklyn studio in 2020, photo by Jason Schmidt

Lisa Yuskavage mixes paint in her Brooklyn studio, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

Lisa Yuskavage mixes paint in her Brooklyn studio, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

“Yuskavage gives us a space where tactility reigns, both in the creaminess of her paint and the sumptuousness of her surfaces. The distinction between the skin of bodies and the skin of paint rides along a knife’s edge. Her universe is a continuation of the Rococo, a made-up world of adornment, flirtation, and play.”

—Helen Molesworth, in Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness, the catalogue for Yuskavage’s current solo exhibition on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art through September 19, 2021

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Yellow Studio, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Yellow Studio, 2021
Oil on linen
70 x 77 inches (177.8 x 195.6 cm)

“Light for Yuskavage is alchemical. Like her great Venetian forebears, she finds in light the power to transform the visual image, to imbue it with mood.”

—Marcia B. Hall, art historian

A girl with a hairband looking down to her feet, a detail view of Lisa Yuskavage's work titled Yellow Studio created in 2021

Lisa Yuskavage, Yellow Studio, 2021 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Yellow Studio, 2021 (detail)

Gustav Eberlein, Boy with Thorn, 1879/1886

Gustav Eberlein, Boy with Thorn, 1879/1886. Nationalgalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. Photo by Andres Kilger

Gustav Eberlein, Boy with Thorn, 1879/1886. Nationalgalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. Photo by Andres Kilger

The model’s pose in Yuskavage’s Yellow Studio recalls Boy with Thorn, a Hellenistic sculpture of a boy pulling a thorn from his foot that has been the subject of countless classical, Renaissance, and neoclassical reproductions.

Lisa in her Brooklyn studio
Lisa Yuskavage in her Brooklyn studio, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt
Lisa Yuskavage in her Brooklyn studio, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

“Ultimately, Lisa Yuskavage’s paintings are about the experience of the world we know through the prism of a studio known only to the artist. Hers are paintings of the mind that emerge as raw, public propositions from the most private of spaces.”

—Christopher Bedford, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and  Sculpture, dated 2018 to 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2018-2020
Oil on linen
86 x 120 1/8 inches (218.4 x 305.1 cm)
An easel in Yuskavage’s Brooklyn studio features a photograph of Georges Braque and a study for Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2020

An easel in Yuskavage’s Brooklyn studio features a photograph of Georges Braque and a study for Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

An easel in Yuskavage’s Brooklyn studio features a photograph of Georges Braque and a study for Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2020. Photo by Jason Schmidt

These works take their point of departure in Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911) and The Pink Studio (1911), evoking the artist’s studio as a stand-in for the creative process.

Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. Installation view in the show named Collection 1880s–1940s at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. Installation view, Collection 1880s–1940s, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

Henri Matisse, The Red Studio, 1911. Installation view, Collection 1880s–1940s, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar

The new works notably revisit specific paintings from Yuskavage’s Bad Baby series of models in explicit poses from the 1990s.

One of Yuskavage’s earliest works, The Ones That Don’t Want To: Bad Baby (1992) is depicted on the back wall of Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture with its angry-looking model layered into a new, fictive whole.

The Ones That Don’t Want To: Bad Baby by Lisa Yuskavage in 1992
Lisa Yuskavage, The Ones That Don’t Want To: Bad Baby, 1992
Lisa Yuskavage, The Ones That Don’t Want To: Bad Baby, 1992
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Master Class, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Master Class, 2021
Oil on linen
84 x 72 inches (213.4 x 182.9 cm)

As is often the case for Yuskavage’s depiction of couples, the relationship between the male and female figure appears psychologically charged and open-ended, just as it remains unclear who is the master and who is the student.

Lisa Yuskavage, Helga, 1993 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Helga, 1993 (detail)

The woman’s face resembles the figure in the artist’s 1993 painting Helga (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), reinforcing the imagined world that Yuskavage has constructed.

A detail of Master Class by Lisa Yuskavage dated 2021

Lisa Yuskavage, Master Class, 2021 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Master Class, 2021 (detail)

A detail of the work titled Beach Fire by Lisa Yuskavage in 2012

Lisa Yuskavage, Beach Fire, 2012 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Beach Fire, 2012 (detail)

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness, Aspen Art Museum, 2020

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: Wilderness, Aspen Art Museum, 2020

The fire displayed in a small painting on the central easel is a recreation of Yuskavage’s 2012 work Beach Fire, which was recently exhibited in Wilderness at the Aspen Art Museum and is currently on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Title to be confirmed, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

The Fuck You Painting, 2020
Oil on linen
12 x 11 1/2 inches (30.5 x 29.2 cm)

“In Yuskavage’s paintings, we experience the rage of seeing ourselves in the mirror, and the equal and opposite rage of not seeing ourselves in the mirror. Humiliation and fury often coexist in these paintings, as do tenderness and perversion, or familiarity and contempt.”

—Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist and writer

Installation view of Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Scarlet, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Scarlet, 2020
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches (17.8 x 12.7 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Wee Yellow Studio, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Wee Yellow Studio, 2021
Oil on linen
10 1/2 x 12 1/8 inches (26.7 x 30.8 cm)

“Today her seductive, unsettling works constitute some of the most limpid, convincing painted fictions made in the last half century.”

—Christian Viveros-Fauné, curator and critic

Lisa Yuskavage’s studio in Orient, New York, 2021

Lisa Yuskavage’s studio in New York, 2021. Photo by EJ Camp

Lisa Yuskavage’s studio in New York, 2021. Photo by EJ Camp

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Bonfire Tondo, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Bonfire Tondo, 2021
Oil on linen
Diameter: 36 inches (91.4 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Emerald Bonfire, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Emerald Bonfire, 2021
Oil on linen
17 5/8 x 15 5/8 inches (44.8 x 39.7 cm)
Installation view of Lisa Yuskavage, Bonfire, 2013–2015

Lisa Yuskavage, Bonfire, 2013–2015. Installation view, Knowledge of the Past Is the Key to the Future, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2021

Lisa Yuskavage, Bonfire, 2013–2015. Installation view, Knowledge of the Past Is the Key to the Future, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2021

Summoning the history of her own work, Yuskavage relates the small-scale painting Bonfire Tondo to her 2013–2015 diptych Bonfire, which is currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

“Yuskavage creates environments in which intense colors trigger dynamic associations. She makes spaces that engulf and surround her characters but that also allow the viewer to decide what to focus on and in what order. She explains that when her paintings work, they create their own worlds—worlds that haven’t existed before. The landscapes she paints refer to places we may know, but they are also unlike any world we have ever known.”

—Heidi Zuckerman, director of The Orange County Museum of Art

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Scissor Sisters, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Scissor Sisters, 2020
Oil on linen
77 1/8 x 70 1/4 inches (195.9 x 178.4 cm)
A detail of Lisa Yuskavage Scissor Sisters, 2020, oil on linen

Lisa Yuskavage, Scissor Sisters, 2020 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Scissor Sisters, 2020 (detail)

“I’m interested in this idea of these images defending themselves.…  Violence and anger—anger in particular—is still one of the more controversial things in art, and I’m really interested in angry art.”

—Lisa Yuskavage

Installation view of Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings at David Zwirner, New York, 2021
Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021
Installation view, Lisa Yuskavage: New Paintings, David Zwirner, New York, 2021

Inquire about Works by Lisa Yuskavage

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Wee Bonfire, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Wee Bonfire, 2021
Oil on linen
9 7/8 x 10 3/4 inches (25.1 x 27.3 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Emerald Bonfire, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Emerald Bonfire, 2021
Oil on linen
17 5/8 x 15 5/8 inches (44.8 x 39.7 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Wee Yellow Studio, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Wee Yellow Studio, 2021
Oil on linen
10 1/2 x 12 1/8 inches (26.7 x 30.8 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Red Photo Shoot, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Red Photo Shoot, 2020
Oil on panel
12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Little Master Class, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Little Master Class, 2021
Oil on aluminum panel
12 x 9 inches (30.5 x 22.9 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Scarlet, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Scarlet, 2020
Oil on panel
7 x 5 inches (17.8 x 12.7 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Title to be confirmed, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

The Fuck You Painting, 2020
Oil on linen
12 x 11 1/2 inches (30.5 x 29.2 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Golden Dog Collar, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Golden Dog Collar, 2020
Oil on linen
10 1/2 x 10 inches (26.7 x 25.4 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Scissor Sisters, dated 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Scissor Sisters, 2020
Oil on linen
77 1/8 x 70 1/4 inches (195.9 x 178.4 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Bonfire Tondo, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Bonfire Tondo, 2021
Oil on linen
Diameter: 36 inches (91.4 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Pink Studio (Rendezvous), dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Pink Studio (Rendezvous), 2021
Oil on linen
77 x 70 inches (195.6 x 177.8 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Master Class, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Master Class, 2021
Oil on linen
84 x 72 inches (213.4 x 182.9 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and  Sculpture, dated 2018 to 2020.

Lisa Yuskavage

Night Classes at the Department of Painting Drawing and Sculpture, 2018-2020
Oil on linen
86 x 120 1/8 inches (218.4 x 305.1 cm)
A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Yellow Studio, dated 2021.

Lisa Yuskavage

Yellow Studio, 2021
Oil on linen
70 x 77 inches (177.8 x 195.6 cm)

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