Ashmolean NOW: Daniel Crews-Chubb x Flora Yukhnovich

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK
8 July 2023 – 14 January 2024

The Ashmolean Museum’s renowned historical collections are the inspiration for two contemporary artists whose new works will be on display in the Museum from this summer. The two simultaneous exhibitions in Gallery 8 feature paintings by critically acclaimed British artists Daniel Crews-Chubb and Flora Yukhnovich. The shows open the Ashmolean’s new exhibition series Ashmolean NOW, in which UK-based contemporary artists are invited to create new work inspired by the Ashmolean’s collections.

Daniel Crews-Chubb took inspiration from the ancient sculptures of deities, mythical creatures and non-human figures found in the Ashmolean, experimenting with their expressions and postures. His monumental, mixed-media paintings feature bold, fantastical figures that are genderless. Crews-Chubb calls them ‘immortals’, referencing the fact that throughout history humans have ‘immortalised’ themselves by building monuments and creating works of art

Crews-Chubb’s abstracted works are created through a laborious process of addition and revision, including drawing, impasto, and collage, and with a mixture of materials from oils to sand and spray paints. The result is energetic, textured paintings with a three-dimensional quality. Despite being informed by religious and mythical figures from ancient history, Crews-Chubb’s work is nonetheless concerned deeply with the human condition today: “With my work, I’m not trying to make something decorative. I’m trying to make something that I think is powerful, outward-looking, which makes you ask what it is to be human.

Despite stylistic differences, the work of both artists links inspirations from art history with a lively and contemporary painterly language. It conveys a timeless passion for the medium of painting, its materials and processes, and invites visitors to look at the Museum’s historical collections afresh.