Yuskavage on Vuillard

Lisa Yuskavage, The Smoker 2008 Oil on linen 60 x 42 inches (courtesy David Zwir
Lisa Yuskavage, The Smoker 2008 Oil on linen 60 x 42 inches (courtesy David Zwirner Gallery))

Peter Schjeldahl reports on Lisa Yuskavage's talk on Edouard Vuillard at the Jewish Museum.

Schjeldahl writes: "Yuskavage’s analysis of Vuillard's art, and of her own, amounted to a clinic in painting for painting’s sake.... Painters naturally assume the importance of their subjects, she said. Meaning emerges by way of stroke-by-stroke discovery and invention: 'making painting happen. The assumption plays out.' For herself, she said, her signature flagrant female is 'a personification of painting itself.' That leaves out a lot of blatant, gamy sexual and psychological content - or leaves it, rather, to viewers, to interpret, or not. Her shock-and-awe imagery is surely willful; but it is grounding for the blooms of her deepest passion - to paint - in ever-surprising, delicate nuances. You end up not sure what you’re looking at, but only that it is canny and beautiful."