New York

Lisa Yuskavage, Golden Couple, 2018, oil on linen, 77 1⁄8 × 70".

Lisa Yuskavage

David Zwirner | 519 West 19th Street

Lisa Yuskavage, Golden Couple, 2018, oil on linen, 77 1⁄8 × 70".

The baby-faced blonde with big pink breasts spreading her legs in Lisa Yuskavage’s Split, 1995, wears nothing but a tiny tangerine shrug and a “come hither, Humbert” look. The invitation might be erotic, but the scene is not: Her legs taper into tentacles, her nipples point in opposite directions, and a mouth is not her only missing orifice. Even the pubescent cutie-pies with intact anatomy who populate Yuskavage’s paintings are made repellent by their saccharine trappings. More than thirty years of underage popsies rendered in Jordan-almond pastels and smoldering shades of red, gold, and acid green were on parade in “Babie Brood: Small Paintings 1985–2018,” a survey of nearly one hundred studies and small works in David Zwirner’s Chelsea space.

When Yuskavage first unveiled her harems of button-nosed jailbait in the early 1990s, writers responded with prose fit for the Book of

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