This Is How Lisa Yuskavage Makes a Painting

The painting is on view at Frieze New York.

Lisa Yuskavage, Spectral (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

In their fifth year at Frieze New York, David Zwirner is presenting a two-artist booth of works by Lisa Yuskavage and Isa Genzken. In anticipation of the fair, Yuskavage, known for her colorful female nudes that border on the vulgar, gave us a look into her process with the creation of Spectral (2016), which will be on view in the gallery’s booth.

Here, in the artist’s own words, and replete with images she took with her iPhone, and including time stamps, is how Lisa Yuskavage makes a painting.

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February 8, 2016.

Lisa Yuskavage: I love finding a new process for each work.

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February 18, 2016; 4.10 p,m.

I don’t have a set method—and that keeps it very challenging and therefore ultimately exciting to make the work over time.

February 29, 2016.

February 29, 2016.

In my painting, Spectral, I made a decision to paint Johannes Itten’s color wheel as a ground.

3 2016_February 29 3.51PM

February 29, 2016; 3:51 p.m.

This was definitely a new way of starting for me.

February 30, 2016; 4:15 p.m.

February 30, 2016; 4:15 p.m.

The color wheel was painted in one day and it was the most laborious, boring work I have ever done.

March 11, 2016. 3:25 p.m.

March 11, 2016. 3:25 p.m.

8 2016_March 11 4.58PM

March 11, 2016; 4:58 p.m.

Filling in is not my thing, but I don’t turn any part of the process over to an assistant.

March 13, 2016.

March 13, 2016.

After waiting a few weeks for it to dry, I then scumbled white over it to knock back the intensity.

March 13, 2016; 8:29 p.m.

March 13, 2016; 8:29 p.m.

After a couple weeks of drying (I had to keep fans running and the heat on 24/7) I laid in the line drawing and the rest of the process unfolded.

March 28, 2016; 6:31 p.m.

March 28, 2016; 6:31 p.m.

My iPhone snapshots were taken over time so that I could share what I was working on with my husband, Matvey [Levenstein], who is also a painter.


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