LISA YUSKAVAGE



David Zwirner | April 23 – June 13, 2015

 

Vanishing Asylum

“Pile up”—the accumulation of the history of her images
Dating as far back as our earliest folktales, advocates for mythical behavior.
“Striped Socks” centralizes the space you may not, or may, enter.
“Sari” reveals everything in the interval
Between her curved hair and the indelible vapor of a teacup.

Just as “Pile Up” generates a specific
Voluptuousness (the term Francis Bacon used for Michelangelo’s male nudes,
While chatting in Melvyn Bragg’s good company),
Donatello’s bronze “David,”
Posing with his foot on Goliath’s severed head,
And an enigmatic smile on his face, finds its triumphant reincarnation in “The Neighbors.”

Where she stands “In the Park,”
The cathedral of lights is ready to construct a dream.
Erotically, erringly clenching a distinctive space between her boots
While off-center, she guards the sacred universe behind her.
DO NOT ENTER, even when invited.

When was the last time you saw an in-crowd that appeared to be
A metronome, or perhaps Bhairava in his fearsome and benevolent form?
  Or a “Dude looks like Jesus,” having an epiphany?
To look backward means to move forward.
She, too, gently declares “Dude of Sorrows” has accomplished the sharp turn
From tonal unity to Cangiantismo, similarly seen in “My Rainbow Scarf.”
Leo Steinberg may have been taken by her aberrant atmosphere,
Half steeped by Bob Guccione’s impoverished use of photography early on.

I do remember once upon a time when James Baldwin wrote,
“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them,”
That it is, at minimum, a duel condition, being alive.
Secrets are bestowed in the two identical goddesses; their profiles are
The gate of the village in “Bonfire,” that was once populated with
Exceptional beings. One holds an invisible sphere
The other an orange moon, in league with
A murky, yellow moon in the upper right.
Below it, folks migrate patiently to the fire.
From a distance I see, invisibly written,
ENTER WITH CAUTION.

 

 

Lisa Yuskavage, “Hippies” (2013). Oil on linen, 82 1/4 × 66 1/2 × 1 1/2˝. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

Lisa Yuskavage, “In the Park” (2014). Oil on linen, 84 × 72 × 1 5/8˝. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

 

 

Contributor

Phong Bui

PHONG BUI is the Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail.

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