Gallery shows

Lisa Yuskavage on the long, slow read

Lisa Yuskavage, “Snowman,” 2008, oil on linen, 72 x 57.5.”
Andrew Forge, Untitled, oil on canvas, 24×20″
Andrew Forge, “Fallen Tree,” 1980-84, oil on canvas, 54×48.” Image courtesy Betty Cunningham Gallery

This week at Time Out New York in T.J. Carlin’s Studio Visit column, she asks Lisa Yuskavage who or what has most inspired her. Yuskavage reponds that courses she took with art historian and painter Andrew Forge had a big impact on how she approaches painting. “I remember sitting in front of this Rothko at Yale in his class. We would just sit and look at the painting. For hours. That�s the amazing thing about great teachers. Forge would entertain all comers, he took everyone seriously and had a good sense of humor. We would let the painting talk to us and let the layers unfold. The particularities of the paint. The fact that it was dry and didn�t reflect light. Someone made a comment about how the painting looked from the side. At the time I thought that was sort of a bullshit comment, but I was also struggling with the belief that we weren�t just all pretending to see the rapture. Because of my admiration for Forge, and also the people I had chosen to surround myself with at that school, I allowed myself to be influenced in a way that I wanted to be. I was like a person trying to believe in God with no evidence of God. We would just sit and look at the paintings and let them come to us. I try to make paintings that you could sit for a long time and look at that way, kind of like in honor of that experience. I learned to make paintings a long, slow read.”

Related posts:
Charlie Finch on Yusavage and Rothenberg: The not-so-innocent girl child vs. the older woman who has actually lived
Another Yuskavage show in NYC


One Comment

  1. Yuskavage's paintings actually only lead the viewer to want to look at them for a little while; more of a quick read and "ok, I get it" sort of feeling. They are nowhere near as open as a Rothko or even her teacher's work. Again, I agree with Charlie Finch!

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