Ella Kruglyanskaya: See Saw
7000 Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90038
Friday, April 5 at 6:00 PM 8:00 PM
Ends Jun 8, 2024
See Saw, Ella Kruglyanskaya’s first major exhibition in Los Angeles, continues the artist’s humorous examination of contemporary culture through her paintings of vibrant and commanding female subjects. The exhibition introduces three new motifs developed over the last year. Tongue-in-cheek and hyperbolic, Kruglyanskaya’s works indulge in visual and linguistic double meanings. Her paintings often appear as literal renditions of metaphors or colloquial expressions layered with trompe l’oeil effects and a range of painting and markmaking styles. Drawing and painting have a symbiotic relationship in these works. See saw paintings Kruglyanskaya’s new see saw paintings are large diptychs of scaled-up notebook pages on which pairs of women are drawn riding a see saw. These works capitalize on the tension of the characters’ cinematic pose but also of the blatant allusion to their swinging emotional state. Street corner paintings Similarly infused with gender tropes, Kruglyanskaya’s depictions of women standing at street corners may appear as a meditation on the contemporary romantic predicament. Their stance, self-expressive and full of attitude, reveals a certain resignation towards the state of things. Skeleton in the closet paintings A woman is browsing through a closet where a skeleton emerges between the hanging clothes. She is looking back at us as if to ensure we are watching. While appearing as the most literal works in the exhibition, these paintings engage with the art historical tradition of the vanitas: symbolic still-life compositions with skulls, flowers, jewelry and other material possessions that act as a reminder of the futility of one’s preoccupation with beauty and pleasure against the inevitability of death. The fictional female subjects in Kruglyanskaya’s works are not only agents for empathy but also vehicles for formal preoccupations and continuous exploration of the history of art. As Alison M. Gingeras writes, “Kruglyanskaya seems to have internalized the Nietzschean aphorism, allowing herself to ‘laugh off’ the historical burden of the ‘Woman Problem’ in order to tackle other issues.” With a continuous shifting of registers and an uninterrupted state of ambivalence, her paintings are constantly negotiating how they want us, the viewers, to see them. Ella Kruglyanskaya was born in Latvia in 1978. She graduated from Cooper Union and received her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2006. Her paintings have been the subject of institutional solo exhibitions at the Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany (2018); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England (2016); The Power Station, Dallas, TX (2014); and Studio Voltaire, London, England (2014). The exhibition will be documented in a forthcoming monograph, Too Much, co-published by Pacific, Bortolami, Thomas Dane and Jeffrey Deitch.
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