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02 Apr 2020

Flora Yukhnovich: Fête galante

Leeds Arts University

Reviewed by Derek Horton

The paintings of Flora Yukhnovich exist in a no man's land between the florid excesses of Rococo painting and the dynamic gestures of Abstract Expressionism, like a 21st century collision of Fragonard and Joan Mitchell. The pastoral scenes of amorously cavorting aristocrats of the fête galante genre are reimagined in the luscious sweeps of seductive color that fill Yukhnovich's latest works.

The visual inspiration Yukhnovich finds in the Rococo combines with a feminist critique of its implications. She has an ongoing collection of imagery from popular culture and contemporary media that stems from the Rococo, from fairy tale landscapes in Disney films to shop window displays, fashion magazines, and cosmetics advertising. All this is evident in her lush, visceral paintings. They represent an art historical reappraisal of the fête galante with a millennial sensibility. The eroticism of the Rococo is emphasized as well in the sensual wit of their titles, such as Warm, Wet n' Wild, I'll Have What She's Having, and It's Better Down Where It's Wetter.

Exhibition Flora Yukhnovich: Fête galante link
Start date 28 Feb 2020
End date 20 Mar 2020
Presenter Leeds Arts University link
Venue Blenheim Walk , Leeds, GBR map
Image Flora Yukhnovich, Warm, Wet N' Wild, 2020, oil on linen, courtesy of Parafin, London, photograph by Peter Mallet
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