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An Afternoon in Chelsea

A critical walking tour of four of this fall’s highest-profile gallery shows.

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Lisa Yuskavage's Imprint, 2006.  

1. Lisa Yuskavage
David Zwirner; 525 W. 19th St. Through November 18.
Maybe it’s the year she recently spent in Rome, or maybe it’s the Zwirner effect (her new dealer also shows the smoky canvases of Luc Tuymans and Marlene Dumas), but Lisa Yuskavage seems to be exercising restraint. As her voluptuous subjects have transitioned from Playboy to the playground (now flaunting baby bumps along with the bosoms), her palette has shifted from a lurid fuchsia to an autumnal ocher. Her latest paintings are stretched a bit thin in Zwirner’s cavernous space, but the best of them display a muted eroticism. The two figures embracing in Imprint (2006) may be showing lots of skin, but the effect is hardly seductive; they’re clinging to each other for dear life. Likewise, the pregnant woman at a table of pears and pomegranates in Biting the Red Thing (20045) looks strangely distracted. She’s not really satisfying her cravings, or ours.


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