Ella Kruglyanskaya displays her deeply original streak— part-rebellious, part-classicist—and continues her focus on the gendered and expressionistic histories of painting albeit with a more personal and introspective drive.
The exhibition takes the form of a continuous collage in two parts across both gallery spaces. Each includes a profusion of works on canvas, egg tempera panels and works on paper, unpacking the traditions of portraiture, still-life, trompe l’oeil and the memento mori, scrutinising her own artistic output throughout.
A recurring feature of Kruglyanskaya’s practice is her negotiation of the viewer. The signature distance between ‘her’ women and the onlooker has shifted here. Whether coupled in adjacent pairs or lounging alone in despair, ecstasy or comfort, Kruglyanskaya’s women compel the viewer to address the historical weight of painting as well as her own place as a painter and the compulsion to objectify. Throughout, Kruglyanskaya maintains a sense of humour, particularly in her migration from drawing to canvas. Trompe l’oeil techniques superimpose the raw, graphic activity of drawing upon the permanency of finished painting. In another instance, painted elements appear like abstract cut-outs for a collaged portrait which serves, in fact, as a backdrop for a still-life painting.