Lisha rooney image

Lisha Rooney

Ella Kruglyanskaya’s 'This is a Robbery'

Gallery: Thomas Dane Gallery

Timing: showing until July 24 , 2020

Ella Kruglyanskaya works from her solo show ‘This is a Robbery’, on until 24 Jul at both @thomasdanegallery spaces. The show depicts a self- and gender-examining study within the history of painting, with trompe l’oeil, memento mori, still life, and figurative works on canvas, paper, and egg tempera panels. It is the symbolism of the paintbrush which I found most intriguing, especially as a representation of self. The literal and illustrative ability of its smears, drips, shadows, and placement seem to attempt to take back what – according to the title – may have been robbed. At least three of these paintbrushes sit atop or next to female genitalia and one’s streaks cover a woman’s eyes, save a small space which still allows her to see.

Kruglyanskaya’s female figures – part buxom temptress, part femme fatale, part Dorothy Parker character somewhere between ingenue and ironic sophisticate – lure us. There are certain narratives supported by makeup, wine glasses, knives, pregnant bellies, flowers, spilt milk, and books, and within these narratives, there seems to be a tension between the compulsion to objectify and the desire to portray the essence of each female.

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