Lisa Yuskavage American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 915

This diptych, saturated in ethereal tones of green, is a complex composition of figures arranged amid an unidentifiable landscape. Yuskavage, who has long been invested in figurative painting, typically exaggerates the edges of bodies, extending stomachs and breasts and facial features beyond expected boundaries, as seen in the two female neo-hippie guardians who bracket this painting. They are, according to Yuskavage, "a Rorschach mirror of one another," evoking the deep and unsettling psychological charge of the painting as well as its purposeful tension between the natural and the artificial. We are left to wonder: are they shielding the mysteries of the bonfire rituals from us, or protecting us from the faceless mob in the background?

Bonfire, Lisa Yuskavage (American, born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1962), Oil on linen

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