David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings and pastels by Lisa Yuskavage, on view at 533 West 19th Street in New York.
Yuskavage’s works merge popular culture and a deep engagement with the history of art. Widely associated with a re-emergence of the figurative in contemporary painting, she has always maintained the primacy of color, with her narratives intricately based in her use of paint. In this new selection of works, atonal and prismatic spectrums appear as personifications of themselves, and her characters become like embodiments of various tones.
The exhibition takes its conceptual and chronological point of departure in Hippies, a painting from 2013 of five intersecting nudes. Behind a pale woman, four male figures fan out from her on either side, almost like a Hindu deity, each a different hue. The rainbow-like effect is reminiscent of the cangiantismo technique advanced in the Renaissance, in which tonal variations were used to indicate the presence of the supernatural in otherwise realistic subject matter. The effect is achieved against a muted, neutral background—here a dark landscape—where grisaille, an almost monochrome color scheme, is applied.