Friday, October 21, 2011

Image of the Day

Lisa Yuskavage: Triptych, 2011 (Oil on linen, 77.25 x 70.125" each. YUSLI0395) at David Zwirner Gallery in New York through November 5th.

One of the best shows I saw in NY a couple weeks ago – conceptually fascinating, but also the color reminded me of the intensity of seeing Richard Prince's Nurse paintings for the first time. Here's a great review by Ken Johnson at the New York Times:

At the center of a triptych more than 18 feet wide, a naked femme lolls on a wooden bench with her nether parts facing the viewer in an invitation to enter the archaic feminine, both literally and metaphorically. Romantic yearning for immersion in beneficent nature, however, collides with satiric hilarity as Ms. Yuskavage toys outrageously with conventions of soft pornography. She dares viewers to admit to elemental desires and fantasies that the ideologically enlightened would deny.

Ms. Yuskavage’s Edenic, sexualized landscapes really are battlegrounds of moral and spiritual war between judgmental mind and polymorphous id. In the triptych’s middle distance stand about a half dozen severe-looking women in long dresses and buttoned-up blouses, forming, it seems, a chorus of disapprobation.

They might stand for those who would disavow sensual hedonism and the infantile consumerism it leads to — those who would put art to the service of critical intellect and political rectitude. But it is the tension in the paintings themselves between the elevated beauty of fine art and the debased, yet often hard-to-resist beauty of kitsch that gives Ms. Yuskavage’s work its comical, uncannily seductive allure.

See more images from the exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery.

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