Our Scholarship is Up and Running!
In response to the social unrest of 2020, WCADC made a public statement (it's at the top of our website). But, we felt it was important to follow words with action, so decided to offer a scholarship to a local BIPOC, female-identifying student in MD-DC-VA wishing to study art at the college level.
So, our scholarship program is now accepting applications. Pass the word!
My Ongoing Discomfort with Lisa Yuskavage
by Ellen Maidman-Tanner
Thanks to the eagle-eyed Holly Stone, a link appeared on the WCADC Facebook feed about the just-ended show of the artist Lisa Yuskavage at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I believe you can find it at #ArtBMA. Written by Cara Ober, it is a very well-researched, cogent commentary of this artist’s unique oeuvre of lollipop colored, voluptuous pre-pubescent girls, a kind of dayglow pornography set in bizarre and strangely-hued landscapes. (I can’t recommend this essay highly enough.)
When I opened up my studio in 2018, I took it upon myself to reacquaint myself with the world of contemporary art. (Think successful installation artist in the late 70s-early 80s, with a 35-year stint in the business world, then back to the studio where I always should have been.) And there was Lisa, in the late 90s, knocking out these strange works. When artists are touted by the art world, as Lisa clearly was (she’s handled by Zwirner!), I make an effort to see what all the hoopla is about if it isn’t readily obvious to me. I will be very frank. My early thoughts about Lisa were, “Oh great, you have to paint pimp young, nude pornographic girls to make it as a female painter in the artworld now.” These works are so not Opie, or Emin, or Sherald, or Walker.
"Afternoon Feeding" by Lisa Yuskavage
After reading the article, I rushed up to the BMA to catch the show on its last day and I was glad I did, as it eased my feelings about this artist to some extent. What you realize quickly is Yuskavage can handle paint like nobody’s business. For me, successful 2-D artwork, oil or acrylic on canvas, is all about vision and skill – you can’t have great art without them both and truth be told, she has them both. She has a vision of a world where as a (very talented) female artist, she can paint whatever the f@@k she wants. And it turns out, Yuskavage is the painterly form of a sci-fi world builder. Seen as a group, her paintings all speak the same strange language within the same strange landscapes of her imaging. As one painting label put it, the painting ‘joins the 18th-century sensuality of Francois Boucher with the influence of Walt Disney’.
I am glad I saw the show. Wandering into another gallery, I saw a large-breasted nude by Henri Matisse. As Ober had noted, we now have the most restrictive abortion law in decades in Texas. The management and depiction of women’s bodies, as men desire to see and contain them, remains a huge part of our history and reality. I am just fine with Yuskavage doing whatever she damn well pleases.
"Nude with Spanish Comb Sitting in Front of a French Window" by Henri Matisse
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