Contemporary Perspectives on de Chirico: Lisa Yuskavage, Stephen Ellis, and Matvey Levenstein


March 21, 2017

Join us for a special evening as CIMA Fellow Giovanni Casini leads a conversation on Giorgio de Chirico with artists Lisa Yuskavage, Stephen Ellis, and Matvey Levenstein.

Giorgio de Chirico’s wide-ranging body of work, especially his neo-baroque late paintings, has historically baffled critics, and the often contradictory developments of his long artistic career have made it difficult to situate his work within established narratives of modernism. MoMA’s 1982 retrospective, held a few years after the artist’s death, neatly omitted or discounted some two-thirds of the artist’s career, choosing to highlight the Metaphysical period — and showing how problematic the definition of a late de Chirico is. These later works, however, with their dense art historical references, methods of replication or (self-)citation, and ironic approach to painting, have drawn the eye of many contemporary practitioners (including of course Giulio Paolini, one of the subjects of CIMA’s exhibition). The blatantly kitsch taste of de Chirico’s late self-portraits, together with the negation of originality and uniqueness, as well as his pursuit of appropriation and the copy became especially relevant in relation to artistic practices developed in the 1980s.


Program Schedule and Artist Biographies:


6pm – Registration, viewing of Giorgio de Chirico / Giulio Paolini exhibition

6:20pm – Conversation program followed by Q&A

7:30pm – Conclusion of program, viewing of Giorgio de Chirico / Giulio Paolini exhibition

8pm – Close

Lisa Yuskavage (b. 1962) is an American artist widely associated with the reemergence of the figurative in contemporary painting; she lives and works in New York City.  Her work is represented in numerous museum collections, and she has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (organized as part of the Dublin Contemporary 2011); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2006); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2002); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2001); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2000). In 2015 The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University organized the retrospective, Lisa Yuskavage: The Brood, which also traveled to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. She has been represented by David Zwirner since 2005.

Stephen Ellis (b. 1951) lives and works in New York City. Ellis has shown his paintings in the United and Europe since the1970s. He is associated with a group of American abstract artists who in the late 1970s rebelled against self-referential formalism and returned abstraction to an engagement with the world. Ellis’s painting and graphic work is represented in many public and private collections in the United States and Europe. He has been the recipient of awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Ellis has also written art criticism for publications including ArtCritical, Modern Painters, Parkett and Art and America, where he was an Associate Editor from 1989 to 1992. During two years living in Cologne in 1986 and ‘87, Ellis wrote extensively on the work of Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. These articles were among the first in the American press to discuss the work of these artists. More recently, he has written about Giorgio Morandi, Dan Walsh, Alan Uglow, Philip Guston and Mark Rothko. Since the early 1980s, Ellis has taught art and art history at schools including Cooper Union, The School of Visual Arts, MICA, Hunter College, New York University, Bard College MFA, and Harvard University. He is represented in the US by the Von Lintel Gallery.

Matvey Levenstein (b. 1960) lives and works in New York City. Associated with the emergence of interest among artists in representational painting in the 1990s, he has exhibited at museums and galleries in the US and Italy, and his work is included in several museums and public collections. He is the recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome, as well as awards from the Penny McCall Foundation and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. He currently teaches Fine Arts and Art History in the BFA program at the School of Visual Arts; he has also taught at the Pratt Institute, Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art, Yale University School of Art, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, Princeton University, and was a Visiting Critic in the School of the Arts at Columbia University. He has been represented by Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome since 2006.