Flora Yukhnovich - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Thursday, June 24, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Rococo Reimagined


    Sumptuous and alluring, Flora Yukhnovich’s Rococo-inspired paintings such as Pretty Little Thing, 2019, have garnered recent critical attention. Trained as a portrait painter with a background in graphic and wallpaper design, Yukhnovich’s artistic education has informed her current practice centered on reconciling the visual idiom of the Rococo with contemporary culture through her lavish large-scale paintings.


    Yukhnovich reinterprets the Rococo style in a contemporary context, exploring conceptions of taste and beauty and notions of feminine aesthetics. Her works also challenge the relationship between high and low art in an effort to draw substance from a visual language that has been often classified as kitsch, feminine, erotic, excessive, and superficial. From its title to its palette dominated by soft, traditionally feminine colors, Pretty Little Thing allows Yukhnovich to explore these associations born out of 18th century French painting, and in turn question and critique both history and contemporary culture.


    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Apollo and Diana, from the Room of Olympian Deities in the Foresteria, 1757, Luca Sassi, Image: ©Bridgeman Images, Artwork: ©Lucas Sassi/ Bridgeman Images

    Yukhnovich’s paintings are as much about exploring the possibilities of paint as they are about the subjects and topics she chooses to portray. “I love paint. I think it’s delicious. I find it the most thrilling, exciting stuff. I like the idea of it being excessive and luxuriating in it. And I hope that comes through in my work.”i Yukhnovich’s love affair with the materiality of paint is highly apparent in Pretty Little Thing, where each brushstroke coalesces lyrically on canvas to create a stunning image that oscillates between abstraction and figuration. Abstract forms evoke the fleshy bodies and extravagant costumes of the characters who inhabit the fête galante paintings of Watteau, Fragonard, and Boucher, but do so with a distinctly contemporary freshness.


    i Flora Yukhnovich, quoted in “Flora Yukhnovich talks to Katy Hessel,” Victoria Miro, London, 2019, online

    • Provenance

      Parafin, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, Parafin, Flora Yukhnovich: Sweet Spot, February 8–March 30, 2019, p. 14 (illustrated)


Pretty Little Thing

signed and dated "Flora Yukhnovich 2019" on the overlap
oil on linen
86 1/2 x 74 3/4 in. (219.7 x 189.9 cm)
Painted in 2019.

Full Cataloguing

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $1,179,500

Contact Specialist

Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York

1 212 940 1250
[email protected]


20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 24 June 2021