press release

Studio Voltaire presents a new commission by Latvian-born, New York-based Ella Kruglyanskaya, her first solo show in a public gallery outside of the US.

Kruglyanskaya’s cartoon-like characters are friends and ‘frienemies’ down at the beach, out-and-about, running from a menacing presence: enforced neighbours butting against each other in the tight space of the stretched canvas. These buxom women anticipate an audience, exaggerating both voyeurism and exhibitionism, confronting cultural tropes with bawdy humour. Kruglyanskaya’s paintings vigorously play with the female form, female sexuality and social interaction.

For her Studio Voltaire commission, Kruglyanskaya has worked on a production residency in the gallery creating an interior wall-mural and a series of large-scale oil paintings depicting women engaged in labour and work: “grooming, brooming, and bricklaying”, her exuberant and cartoon-like paintings running onto the gallery walls. The exhibition also includes multiple preparatory works on paper.

The façade of the gallery has been taken over by two of Kruglyanskaya’s ample females, leaning seductively on the peaked roof of the building, taking a cigarette break whilst their peers are busy at work inside the gallery. The artist’s use of deft, fluid brush strokes and an exuberant palette make her paintings, and indeed her subjects, irresistible forces.

To coincide with the commission, Studio Voltaire and Koenig Books are publishing the first ever monograph on Kruglyanskaya designed by Everything Studio, New York with contributions from Alison Gingeras and Matthew Higgs, to be released in Summer 2014.

Bio: Ella Kruglyanskaya (b. 1978 Latvia) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Monster Bathers, Blue Scribble, and Others’ Oko, New York (2013); Kendall Koppe Gallery, Glasgow, UK (2013); ‘Woman! Painting! Woman!’ Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2013); ‘Ladies Who Punch’, Salon 94, New York (2012) and ‘White Room’ White Columns, New York (2011). Kruglyanskaya is represented by Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York and Kendall Koppe, Glasgow.

This new commission forms part of ‘How to work together’, a shared programme of contemporary art commissioning and research organised by three innovative not-for-profit London galleries: Studio Voltaire, The Showroom and Chisenhale Gallery. Together, over three years, ‘How to work together’ is producing a series of artists’ commissions, exhibitions, events and an online think tank. This joint project is an opportunity to pool knowledge and resources, share an expanded artistic programme, reach new audiences, and drive the organisations forward. We hope to create a new model of collaboration and sharing for the visual arts.

‘How to work together’ is supported by Arts Council England through Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match-funding, Bloomberg and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

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Ella Kruglyanskaya
How to Work Together: Ella Kruglyanskaya

Ella Kruglyanskaya