Philadelphia-born artist Lisa Yuskavage has become known for her fantasized images of women in stages of undress, and not without controversy. Scantily clad, her subjects’ sexuality plays an important role in her art where men have largely been ignored. In her new series of paintings and pastels, currently on view at David Zwirner Gallery in New York alongside Yayoi Kusama (covered here), Yuskavage finally tackles the opposite sex. Called “Hippies,” her male and female cast is only loosely inspired by the free-spirited sub-culture. Yuskavage’s also possess an otherworldly feel with seductive and religious undertones.
“Hippies”, 2013, Oil on linen, 82 x 66 1/2 inches
These innuendos can be found in the classical style that she poses her nudes in, as in her titular piece “Hippies,” completed in 2013. It is an oil on linen portraying five figures emerging from a single monochromatic nude, as if they were splitting from her being. Others are more directly referential, such as “Dude Looks Like Jesus.” Yuskavage applies the same Renaissance-era techniques to her portraits as before, set against brightly-saturated colors and vast landscapes. Among her color inspiration, she credits works by Jean Fouquet and Jasper Johns, creating a playful mix of art history references and pop culture. These tonal variations are meant to imply the presence of the supernatural, adding to Yuskavage’s concept. She describes them as “incubi and succubi—folkloric demons who exist to seduce.” Take a look at more of her works in “Hippies” below, on view at David Zwirner gallery through June 13th.