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 in 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2][3] She studied at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, where she received her BFA in 1984, and later at the Yale University School of Art, where she earned her MFA in 1986.[2] In 1985, Yuskavage met her future husband, the artist Matvey Levenstein.[4]


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]

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


Solo exhibitions[edit]

Notable solo presentations include:

  • Lisa Yuskavage, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2000)[2]
  • Lisa Yuskavage, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2001)[2]
  • Lisa Yuskavage, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2002)[2]
  • Lisa Yuskavage, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2006)[2]
  • Lisa Yuskavage, The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2011)[2]
  • The Brood, The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts (2015)[2]

Group exhibitions[edit]

Recent group exhibitions include:

  • 46th Corcoran Biennial: Media/Metaphor, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2000)
  • 2000 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000)
  • Greater New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2000)
  • Supernova: Art of the 1990s from the Logan Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2003)
  • de Kooning to Today: Highlights from the Permanent Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003)
  • 5th International Biennial: Disparities and Deformations, Our Grotesque, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2004)
  • America Today: 300 Years of Art from the USA, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2007)
  • Artist Collaborations: Fifty Years of Universal Limited Art Editions, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007)
  • Multiplex: Directions in Art 1970 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007)
  • The Present: The Monique Zajfen Collection, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007)
  • Bad Painting - good art, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2008)
  • Diana and Actaeon: The Forbidden Glimpse of the Naked Body, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (2008)
  • Paint Made Flesh, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee (2008) (traveled to The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; The Memorial Art Gallery, The University of Rochester, Rochester, New York)
  • Bad Habits, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York (2009)
  • Between Picture and Viewer: The Image in Contemporary Painting, School of Visual Arts, New York (2010)
  • Face to Face, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2010)
  • American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2011)
  • Secret Societies, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2011) (traveled to Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France)
  • New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012)
  • Print/Out, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012)
  • Expanding the Field of Painting, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2013)
  • Nude, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (2014)
  • Queensize - Female Artists from the Olbricht Collection, me Collectors Room Stiftung Olbricht, Berlin (2014)[2]


Work by the artist is held in major museum collections, including:

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


  • Tiffany Foundation Grant (1996)[14]
  • Founder's Day Certificate of Honor, Tyler School of the Arts, Philadelphia (2000)[14]
  • Temple University Gallery of Success Award, Temple University, Philadelphia (2005)[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 k "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. ^ "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]