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By Lisa Yuskavage
Lisa Yuskavage is a contemporary American painter best known for producing sexualized paintings of female figures. Often set within surreal landscapes and dramatically lit interiors, Yuskavage’s work confronts the male gaze within the history of female nudes in Western painting. By overemphasizing both the sexuality of the figures and lusciousness of the paint, her work deliberately becomes a caricature of its own references. “You have to be polite with your friends and your family,” the artist once remarked, “but in your art, it’s important not to be polite.” Her mastery of traditional oil painting techniques aligns her work with earlier artists like Jean-Honoré Fragonard, as well as her peer John Currin. Born on May 16, 1962 in Philadelphia, PA, she first studied at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and went on to receive her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 1986. Yuskavage has exhibited with David Zwirner Gallery in New York, and her works are found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, among others. She lives and works in New York, NY.