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Ashmolean NOW Daniel Crews-Chubb x Flora Yukhnovich – Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

8 Jul — 14 Jan 2024

8 Jul 2023 – 14 Jan 2024

Gallery 8

Admission is FREE

This summer, the Ashmolean launches its contemporary exhibition series Ashmolean NOW. The Museum’s Gallery 8 will become a laboratory for contemporary artists who have been invited to create new work inspired by the Ashmolean’s historical collections.

The first exhibition features new works by two young London-based painters, Daniel Crews-Chubb and Flora Yukhnovich.

Daniel Crews-Chubb (b. 1984) will present a group of large-scale paintings that take inspiration from depictions of ancient deities found in the Ashmolean.

Daniel Crews-Chubb's artwork from the Ashmolean Now summer 2023 exhibition showing an abstract portrait in colour streaks

‘Immortal (turquoise)’, Daniel Crews-Chubb, 2022. Oil, oil bar, acrylic, ink, charcoal, spray paint, sand, coarse pumice gel and collaged fabrics on canvas, 220 x 170 cm © Daniel Crews-Chubb. Courtesy Timothy Taylor, London / New York

The figures in his paintings depart from any direct historical references to invent his own mythology. These ‘immortals’, as Crews-Chubb calls them, are created through a laborious process of addition and revision including drawing, impasto, and collage.

The textured patchwork of his canvasses gives Crews-Chubb’s monumental subjects a three-dimensional presence that, as he describes, ‘corrodes the boundary between painting and sculpture’. His work will reflect on the way sacred cultural artefacts are displayed in British museums, through his own lens.

Flora Yukhnovich (b. 1990) will draw from the palettes and compositions of the Museum’s Dutch and Flemish still life collection. Her work will explore the feminine quality of these paintings, and their connections to contemporary ideas of gender.

Flora Yukhnovich's artwork from the Ashmolean Now summer 2023 exhibition showing red and pink and white abstract blooms

Untitled, Flora Yukhnovich, 2023, oil on linen, 200 x 175 cm © Flora Yukhnovich. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

Best known for her works inspired by French Rococo and Italian Baroque masterpieces, this new series of floral paintings made for the Ashmolean will act as a point of departure for the artist. Yukhnovich trained as a portraitist, but is now investigating more spatial and material dimensions of paint in abstract works.

Anchoring her compositions in visual references to works by artists like Rachel Ruysch and Jan Weenix, Yukhnovich breaks down and remixes the subjects of these historical paintings – focusing on flowers and nature – to leave viewers with an open-ended and playful result.

About Ashmolean NOW

For this series of three exhibitions in Gallery 8, each artist will explore different areas of the Museum’s broad collections. Ashmolean NOW will feature their four very different points of view. Our summer exhibition will be followed by Pio Abad in February 2024 and Bettina von Zwehl in October 2024.

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