Flora Yukhnovich: Fête galante

McAra, Catriona and Hargraves, Matthew (2020) Flora Yukhnovich: Fête galante. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

Flora Yukhnovich (b.1990) graduated from the City and Guilds of London Art School in 2017. Her first major solo show was at Parafin, London (2019). She has recently worked with Katy Hessel @thegreatwomenartists among others. For this solo show, Yukhnovich proposes to take stock of her art historical approach to painting through the alternative genre of the ‘fête galante.’ For eighteenth century Rococo artists, the fête galante was understood as an elegant festival or courtly excursion. As a kind of non-category coined by Watteau, Yukhnovich uses it to investigate the French wing of the Rococo style. Though the Rococo has often been considered aristocratic and whimsical, Yukhnovich’s technically accomplished paintings challenge and revise such views. Yukhnovich addresses the stereotypical feminine gendering of the Rococo through eroticized fairy tales. The related notion of “an enchanted island” emerges as the artist delves deep into art historian Mary Sheriff’s research on Fragonard and his contemporaries (2018). The catalogue includes a curatorial preface by Catriona McAra and an interview with the artist by Matthew Hargraves (Yale Center for British Art).

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