Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Lisa Yuskavage | David Zwirner
A detail of a painting by Lisa Yuskavage, dated 2020
Lisa Yuskavage
A portrait of Lisa Yuskavage, dated 2020

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

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

Lisa Yuskavage’s (b. 1962) bold, eccentric, and playful characters are frequently cast against theatrical backdrops in which realistic and abstract elements coexist. While the artist’s painterly techniques evoke art historical precedents, her motifs are often inspired by popular culture, creating an underlying dichotomy between high and low and, by implication, sacred and profane, harmony and dissonance.

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A painting by Lisa Yuskavage, titled Thespian, dated 2020

Lisa Yuskavage

Thespian, 2020
Oil on wood panel
7 x 5 inches 
17.8 x 12.7 cm 
An installation view featuring works by Lisa Yuskavage, dated 2018

Installation view, Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018, David Zwirner, New York, 2018

Installation view, Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018, David Zwirner, New York, 2018

An installation view featuring works by Lisa Yuskavage, dated 2018

Installation view, Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018, David Zwirner, New York, 2018

Installation view, Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018, David Zwirner, New York, 2018

“She made pictures about women looking at themselves, of women looking at other women. And all these images had the DNA of six centuries’ worth of paintings made by men for men of means that were about looking at women, that were designed to be looked at in well-appointed rooms like libraries and museum galleries.” —⁠Helen Molesworth

A painting by Lisa Yuskavage

Lisa Yuskavage, Underground, 2010. Private collection, New York

Lisa Yuskavage, Underground, 2010. Private collection, New York

“Over a career now spanning thirty-five years, the artist has produced paintings that are abundantly present—ebulliently colorful, unabashedly explicit, epic in ambition—and yet equally and determinedly elusive in their meaning. These values are held in taut balance in almost every work, making it next to impossible to look away and certainly impossible to arrive quickly (or ever) at an assured, stable interpretation.” —⁠Christopher Bedford

A detail from a painting by Lisa Yuskavage, dated 2020

Lisa Yuskavage, Thespian, 2020 (detail)

Lisa Yuskavage, Thespian, 2020 (detail)

"A book cover for Lisa Yuskavage, Babie Brood, dated  2019

Lisa Yuskavage: Babie Brood. Published on the occasion of the artist’s solo exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, 2018

Lisa Yuskavage: Babie Brood. Published on the occasion of the artist’s solo exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, 2018

Lisa Yuskavage: Babie Brood is the first survey of the artist’s small-scale paintings. While Yuskavage is primarily known for larger canvases, these intimate works offer a window into her transgressive paintings and complex and influential oeuvre.


Josef Albers
Harold Ancart
Carol Bove
Donald Judd
Yayoi Kusama
Kerry James Marshall
Joan Mitchell
Giorgio Morandi

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