Lisa Yuskavage

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Lisa Yuskavage
Born (1962-05-16) May 16, 1962 (age 52)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Education Tyler School of Art, Yale University
Known for Painting

Lisa Yuskavage (born May 16, 1962) is a contemporary American visual artist who is primarily known for her figurative oil paintings that engage with the female form.[1] She currently lives and works in New York City.[2]

Early life[edit]

Yuskavage was born on 16 May 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2][3] She studied at the Tyler School of Art, a part of Temple University in Philadelphia, where she received her BFA in 1984.[2] In 1985, as a student, Yuskavage met her future husband, the artist Matvey Levenstein.[4] She was awarded a Masters in Fine Arts in 1986 from Yale University’s School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut.[2]


Between 1984 and 1990, Yuskavage painted women that she later characterized as demure in nature.[5] At the suggestion of her husband, the artist Matvey Levenstein, Yuskavage began to imagine herself as the subject of her paintings, which allowed her to change her perspective and to assume a new character in her work.[5] Her new style often features the nude female form as voluptuous and with exaggerated curves.[6] These nudes have been compared to both classic pin-ups and soft pornography.[7] The role of voyeurism is also key to the artist's work.[8] Yuskavage has previously cited the actor Dennis Hopper's character, Frank Booth, in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (film), as her inspiration for the source of the male gaze in her artworks.[5]

Yuskavage is known to produce only a small number of works each year. It has been estimated that she creates only five large paintings every two years.[9]

She is represented by David Zwirner in New York[2] and greengrassi, London.[10]


Yuskavage had her first solo exhibition in 1990.[7] During the mid-1990s she participated in many group exhibitions such as "Figure as Fiction" (1993), Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; "My Little Pretty" (1997), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; "Presumed Innocence" (1997); "Pop Surrealism" (1998), Aldrich Museum; and "The Nude in Contemporary Art" (1999).

Solo exhibitions[edit]

Over the past decade, Yuskavage has also had numerous solo exhibitions, including:

Group exhibitions[edit]

Yuskavage's recent group exhibitions include:

  • 2000 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2000)
  • "Greater New York, P.S.1/The Museum of Modern Art", New York, NY (2000)
  • "Supernova: Art of the 1990s from the Logan Collection", San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2003)
  • "de Kooning to Today: Highlights from the Permanent Collection", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2003)
  • "the Fifth International Biennial: Disparities and Deformations, Our Grotesque", SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM (2004)
  • "America Today: 300 Years of Art from the USA" at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2007)
  • "Artist Collaborations: Fifty Years of Universal Limited Art Editions", The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York (2007)
  • "Multiplex: Directions in Art 1970 to Now", The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York (2007)
  • "Bad Painting, Good Art" at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in Vienna, Austria (2008)
  • "Diana and Actaeon: Forbidden Glimpse of the Naked Body" at Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, Germany (2008)
  • "Paint Made Flesh" at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee (2008)
  • '"Bad Habits'" at Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2009)
  • "Between Picture and Viewer: The Image in Contemporary Painting'" at School of Visual Arts, New York (2010)
  • '"Face to Face" at Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado (2010)


Work by the artist is held in the public collections of various museums, including:

  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York[11]
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California[12]
  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota[13]
  • Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina
  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.[8]


In 1996 Yuskavage was awarded a Tiffany Foundation Grant.[14] In 2000 the artist was a recipient of Founder's Day Certificate of Honor from Temple University.[14] In 2005, the artist was awarded a Temple University Gallery of Success Award.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dobrzynski, Judith H. "A Painter and Her Art Trade Places; A Change in Style, and Provocative Works Find Success", New York Times, January 28, 1999.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Lisa Yuskavage", David Zwirner, Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Karen. "Q&A With Lisa Yuskavage and Tamara Jenkins", New York Magazine, Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ Heller, Sabine. "Interview: Lisa Yuskavage", Purple Magazine, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b c de la Torre, Mónica. "Lisa Yuskavage by Mónica de la Torre", BOMB Magazine, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  6. ^ "The Voluptuous Paintings of Lisa Yuskavage", Juxtapoz Magazine, Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Lisa Yuskavage Birthday: Curvy-Kitsch Master Painter Turns 51", The Huffington Post, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  8. ^ a b Keller, Cathryn. "Lisa Yuskavage: Critiquing Prurient Sexuality, or Disingenuously Peddling a Soft-Porn Aesthetic?", The Washington Post, Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  9. ^ Mason, Christopher. "She Can't Be Bought", New York Magazine, Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  10. ^ "greengrassi: Lisa Yuskavage", greengrassi, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  11. ^ "The Collection: Lisa Yuskavage" MoMA, Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Works by Lisa Yuskavage", San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Lisa Yuskavage - Collections", The Walker Art Center, Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b c "Lisa Yuskavage Biography", artnet, Retrieved 5 August 2014.

External links[edit]