Lisa Yuskavage (Contemporary & Post Modernism)

Lisa Yuskavage (1962- present) is an American contemporary artist known for her figurative paintings.

Coming from a background of studying at Yale University School of Art, Yuskavage was very much passionate about art history. Some of her main inspirations include Italian painter Giovanni Bellini, Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, and French painter Edgar Degas. Her works were characterized as a blend of pop cultural imagery, colour theory and traditional portraiture.

Lisa Yuskavage Wilderness

Lisa Yuskavage, Wilderness, 2009, oil on canvas, 77 x 120 inches.

Related image

Lisa Yuskavage Blonde, Brunette, Redhead, 1995. Oil on linen 36 x 108 inches.

Lisa Yuskavage The Ones That Can’t: Tea, 1991-1992 Oil on linen 26 x 24 inches (66 x 61 cm) Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London

Lisa Yuskavage The Ones That Can’t: Tea, 1991-1992 Oil on linen 26 x 24 inches

Many feminists actually criticized for her “sexualized and distorted” depiction of female bodies. This is considered untrue to her because as a female artist, she was simply exploring female social identity. Although a lot of her paintings include nude females, her depiction was not vulgar. Rather, the figures appear to be strong and bold in their frank sensuality.

I personally think that there are a lot of compelling qualities about Yuskavage’s works. There is often a complex and paradoxical mood she created. The figures she depicts seem melancholic, yet innocent and angelic. Her works remind of me of the illustrations from children’s books as well (not the ones with nudes). Almost all of her paints have a dominate colour or tone, making it appear bright and vibrant, yet emotional. Lisa Yuskavage is, in my opinion, a master of atmospheric paintings. Despite the fact that her works were described as being contemporary, there is an interesting mix of caricature and representational elements to it. Overall, Yuskavage has been very successful in what she was trying to achieve – producing art that concerns with both aesthetics and expression!