Yossifor was trained at UC Irvine, California, at the height of the cultural war debates. Her work then was a series of sociopolitical portraits that were etched in great detail onto monochromatic fields. These portraits were buried in single color fields, in shades of red, white, and black. They only came to life with a certain direction of light and the position of the viewer in front of them. They were a kind of a “Dawning of an aspect,” to borrow from Wittgenstein. This work over time evolved into abstractions that are portraits of events instead of portraits of people. The new abstractions are time-restricted, repeated, and body-aware; they speak to a cycle of trauma and belatedness. Their subject is entirely a state of mind, and is formed over time by thinking of these works in groupings of paintings and memories. In these abstractions, a delicate balance between cognition and action forms a pictorial space which coexists in tension with the painting as a record of an event. The abstractions are grounded in the artist’s movement and are generated by utilizing a process that resembles automatic drawing. Yossifor attacks, scores, and interacts with the paint to create textural lines and structures that echo drawings; these drawing features are subsequently buried in the ensuing layers of paint. The work is also done entirely in paint, but describes different material states, from stone relief and ceramics to body prints.
Liat Yossifor received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996, and her MFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 2002. Select solo exhibitions include Pre-Verbal Painting, The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Expanding on an expansive subject, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Time Turning Paint, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Broad Center, Claremont; Double Life, Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt; Movements, Ameringer McEnery Yohe, New York, NY; A Body of Water, Patron Gallery, Chicago; The Stand, Paramo Gallery, Guadalajara, Mexico; and The Tender Among Us at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont. Group exhibitions include Modulacions, Museo de Arte de Sinaloa in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico, and Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Jal., Mexico; Grafforists, Torrance Art Museum, CA; Stolen Gestures, Kunsthaus Nurnberg, Germany; Subject, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, CT; New Works, The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; From America, Museum of Modern Fine Arts, Minsk, Belarus; The Third Wight Biennial, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, CA; and The End, Deep River, LA, CA. Select public collections include Creative Artist Agency (CAA), Los Angeles, CA; Isabel and Agustin Coppel Collection (CIAC), Mexico City, Mexico; The Marguilles Collection, Miami, FL; Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), CA and The Hammer Museums, Los Angeles, CA.