Lisa Yuskavage Re-redux

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A post by Donna Sink

(For more on this topic, see posts of 6/3/03and 6/6/03) What upset me so much about her show at the ICA was that it was being fawned over by the press. In particular, Robin Rice felt that Yuskavage was using these pin-up girl paintings as a way to “work through” issues of commercial feminine beauty. Bullshit. There’s no soul-searching going on in these images, they’re only about “working through” that common artist’s problem of having a lean bank account – and worse, they’re using common commercial sex-sells imagery under the guise of criticizing that imagery to do it. In other words, they’re no different than Budweiser ads. There was one still life in the show, a vase of flowers, that was gorgeous and shows real technical skill and more. I just wish she wasn’t falling back on the Playboy aesthetic to sell the work – I mean who can resist looking at these babes, after all? – when it seems she does have talent in there.

–Donna Sink, AIA, is an associate at the Philadelphia architecture firm, Atkin Olshin Lawson-Bell Architects.

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