Yesterday I matched to my favourite hang out spot in London – Mayfair, home to the most affluent of society. I went to go see a gallery exhibition which I had read about earlier in the week on Timeout London.
I had never heard of Lisa Yuskavage and saw the synopsis of her work was being exhibited at the David Zwirner gallery both in London, Grafton street and in New York.
Of course, as a lover of art and culture, I decided to jaunt to Mayfair to see her work.
American Lisa Yuskavage’s work was captivating. There was a private view at the gallery on 6th June and then became open to the public from the 7th June to 28th July.
There will be a guided tour of the actual exhibition on Mayfair Art Weekend at the end of June.
With a rather contemporary style,, Lisa has developed her own genre of portraiture in which lavish, erotic, angelic and at times grotesque characters are cast with fantastical landscapes or domestic spaces.
I interpreted her work as a way of breaking the norm which has conventionally body shamed women in modern generations. Her work was so visually paradoxical, it enabled me to recognise the art of the male and female human anatomy, erotic nuances and nudity.
There were two floors exhibiting Yuskavage’s work in Zwirner’s gallery, with around 12-15 portraits between them. Very sparsely laid out with access to mental and physical headspace to take in the interpretations of artistic meanings.
According to the synopsis of the exhibition, it includes several works that continue Yuskavage’s exploration of the dynamics of intertwined couples, while also furthering her interest in using colour as a vehicle for ideational content.
Begun in the 2000s with dual portraits of female figures, she has in recent years created a series of symbolic depictions of a female and male couple. Their relationship appears determined by carefully selected colour harmonies or contrasts- in some cases, one figure is cast by vibrant hues, while the other is in neutral tones.
Probably unnoticed by many viewers, the women were depicted to be loudly more dominant on the scene than the men.
Other paintings in the exhibition depict single women or groups with psychological narratives of tenderness and tension likewise described by formal elements within the compositions.
Lisa was born in Philadelphia, Pensilvania and I assumed possibly from Eastern European descent. Since 2005, Lisa’s work has been represented by David Zwirner and this particular exhibition has been her first with David in London. So there I was attending her first debut in my beloved city.
Her work continues to receive positive appraisals and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide and has lectured on the subject of her own work as well as other artists including Giorgio de Chrico, Philip Guston, Francis Picabia and Edouard Vuillard whose specific work I am familiar with.
Bur what will make it more memorable is the fact that on a hot summer day in London after sweating like a pig on heat on the Central line and walking 10’mins to Dover Street from Oxford Circus, it was the most welcoming respite to a cool air-conditioned beautiful gallery with shades of light and space.
The beautiful things are sometimes free. We just need to find them.