Barbara Friedman on Lisa Yuskavage

Lisa Yuskavage, Faucet, 1995, oil on linen, 72 x 60 inches (courtesy of the arti
Lisa Yuskavage, Faucet, 1995, oil on linen, 72 x 60 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Barbara Friedman considers Lisa Yuskavage's panting Faucet (1995).

Friedman remarks: "Many contemporary women artists have reclaimed the depiction of the female nude as Yuskavage does. And many of today’s painters combine high and low sources: in her case, soft porn filtered through Baroque and Color Field painting. But few other artists allow the image that results to be as insistently human. Yuskavage has said that 'for the purposes of working, harnessing the shame is about being vulnerable to the creative process'– the painful content leading to a more unmediated presentation. Then too there aren’t many other artists who handle paint with the same dexterity. Yuskavage’s reverence for her medium has been much remarked upon, and it should be. Her Bonnard-like palette with its lemon yellows, lavenders, magentas, and lime greens; with her sumptuous modernist painterliness; her old-master rendering techniques; her candied chiaroscuro and over-the-top highlights: In Yuskavage’s paintings these make for a perfect marriage between form and content."