- Ella Kruglyanskaya
- Swordfish Picnic
- oil on shaped canvas, in two parts
- overall: 230.5 by 336.9cm.; 90 3/4 by 132 5/8 in.
- Executed in 2011.
New York, Salon 94, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Ladies Who Punch, 2011
Inspired by female artists of the Constructivist era, Sonia Delaunay and Alexandra Exter (figures who segued into the avant-garde through their work with costume and fashion), Kruglanskaya carves out a space for femininity in the vernacular of camp-couture. In the present work the picnic blanket doubles as ladies scarf adorned with a nautical pattern of interlacing ropes and chains. Upon this, the figures are fleshed out with scribbles and hatchings and are tightly garbed in dresses of outlandish patternation – designs that knowingly echo Constructivist or Bauhaus compositions. Delivering a teeming cacophony of colour and pattern, Kruglanskaya eradicates any sense of perspective, reducing her compositions to that of textile design yet confronting the age-old machismo dialogue of flatness in painting. Fittingly, Kruglanskaya painted Swordfish Picnic in 2011 as part of an installation intended for the windows of Barney’s in New York. Taking on the mantle of artists exhibiting in department store windows, such as Andy Warhol who in 1962 showed some of his earliest Pop art paintings in the windows of Bonwit Teller, Kruglanskaya’s paintings combine the world of fashion and empowered femininity with that of fine art.