Lisa Yuskavage: Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018
Lisa Yuskavage: Babie Brood is the first up-to-date survey of the artist’s small-scale paintings. Known primarily for larger canvases, these intimate works offer a new window into Yuskavage’s transgressive paintings.
Based on the artist’s imagination, live models, and maquettes, among other things, the small paintings in this book demonstrate Yuskavage’s methodical exploration of how images come into existence, and where they come from. Some of the small works are studies for large paintings, while others revisit pre-existing images. Yet others are one-of-a-kind compositions only created on this intimate scale. As places for experimenting with color, form, and characters as well as a variety of formats—including stretched and unstretched linen, canvas boards, wood, and paper—these works, play a remarkably dynamic and role within her oeuvre. This catalogue presents the paintings to scale so readers can explore them as if seeing them in person.
Documenting the artist’s exhibition at David Zwirner in New York in 2018, this catalogue includes an essay by Jarrett Earnest illuminating Yuskavage’s early influences and exploring the constant, often surprising, themes that can be found throughout her oeuvre.
For more than thirty years, Lisa Yuskavage’s (b. 1962) highly original approach to figurative painting has challenged conventional understandings of the genre. Her simultaneously bold, eccentric, exhibitionist, and introspective characters assume dual roles of subject and object, complicating the position of viewership. At times playful and harmonious, and at other times rueful and conflicted, these characters are cast within fantastical compositions in which realistic and abstract elements coexist and color determines meaning. While the artist’s painterly techniques evoke art historical precedents, her motifs are often inspired by popular culture, creating an underlying dichotomy between high and low and, by implication, sacred and profane, harmony and dissonance. Yet her oeuvre compellingly resists categorization, insisting instead on its own kind of emotional formalism in which characters and pictorial inventions assume equal importance.
Jarrett Earnest is a writer and artist living in New York City. From 2014–2017 he was faculty at the free experimental art school Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU), running their MFU programs in New York and Miami. He wrote What it Means to Write About Art (2018) and co-edited the volumes Tell Me Something Good: Artist Interviews from The Brooklyn Rail (2017) and For Bill, Anything: Images and Text for Bill Berkson (2015). His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, Los Angeles Review of Books, Art in America, and San Francisco Arts Quarterly, among others.
Hanna Schouwink joined David Zwirner in 19XX and is currently Senior Partner and based in the gallery’s New York location. Throughout the past two decades, she has overseen numerous shows at the gallery and collaborated on many major museum exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and their accompanying publications.