In episode 66 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed painter, LISA YUSKAVAGE!
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Commanding and vulnerable, inviting and resisting, psychologically intense, addressing shame and provocations, Lisa Yuskavage began her paintings of doll-like, pre-pubescent, semi-naked women in the early 1990s. Often emerging from a technicolored, acid-like pool of saturated pinks, greens, reds, or yellows, Yuskavage combines art historical colouring techniques for her images that are as much about an exploration of light and colour, as they are about the female figure. Belonging to no one but themselves, her figures claim the gaze free from authority and own their sexuality.
Born in Philadelphia, and having received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in 1984 and her MFA from Yale, since the early 1990s, Lisa Yuskavage has been a force in the New York painting scene, whose incredible influence has spread worldwide, especially for younger artists working today – as often mentioned on this podcast – for her bold, radical, pioneering and innovative use of colour, subject, style and form.
In museum collections worldwide, including the Hammer, Hirshhorn, ICA Boston, The Met, MoMA, Whitney, SF MoMA and many more, Yuskavage’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the latter of which is currently on view until 19 September 2021.
But… the reason why we are speaking with Yuskavage today is because this September, 2021, she will unveil a series of new works for an exhibition with David Zwirner in NYC, where she is represented. Titled, New Paintings, the exhibition brings together her signature color-field compositions saturated in jewel-like pigments of red, green, yellow, and pink, with figurative depictions full of theatricality, tension, dynamism and vulnerability, depicting models – which recall the tension between seer and seen – or dramatic scenes derived from the studio or art-school classrooms, all of which are rooted in both art history and the present day.
LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!!
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield