Saturday, October 1, 2011

Loco for Rococo and Kukula

Hazing (2011) by Kukula

"Lonely Opulent Things" is a solo show of Nataly (Kukula) Abramovitch's work on display at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. The basic theme of this exhibit is the valuing of the Self through Material possessions, exemplified by the opulent 18th century French Rococo aesthetic. The doll-like subjects of these paintings have actually been "objectified" by incorporating elements evocative of Limoges porcelain into their figures.

Precious and opulent though they may be, the subjects depict a spiritual emptiness. They are all ornamentation and little substance. Bored and directionless, they lounge around in beautiful idleness. Even when displayed upon pedestals, these "Lonely Opulent Things" can't seem to muster the spirit to pose and preen. They are creatures of brittle clay and are hollow inside.

Broken Limoges (2011) by Kukula

It is this sorrow, regret, and loneliness that stands out. Unlike the Rococo inspirations from Fragonard or Boucher, these figures are not gleeful or engaged in an eternal fete galante. There is no vivacious play of Blind Man's Bluff or exuberant swinging. There is only an enervated decadence. When the pretty objects break, so too does the owner's spirit.

In this opulent and lonely world, the Garden of Spring is a facade of shallow beauty. Behind the elegant flourishes lies a void of pointlessness and insignificance. And so the subjects cling to their pretty things as a way to distract from the existential horror of life's emptiness, nihilism.

Le Jardin au Printemps (2011) by Kukula

Here's a vid of some other works by Kukula:

I really enjoy Kukula's work. But I absolutely adore the Rococo theme of this show. It even has Jacquard tapestry!!! Obviously, I highly recommend "Lonely Opulent Things."

Kukula's "Lonely Opulent Things" is on exhibit at the Corey Helford Gallery until October 15.


*The term "Loco for Rococo" is well known to my friends who go museum hopping with me. I get seriously fanatic with enthusiasm over the topic. ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment