Stuart & Co. Gallery is excited to announce an exhibit, Lilty Flouncy, featuring the work of Kayla Risko. Using the text of Gustave Flaubert’s 1856 novel, Madame Bovary, Risko explores literary themes through the lens of art history, adding her own unique approach to grappling with the power of text through non-literal visual media. The majority of the paintings in this exhibit focus on the affair between Emma and Rodolphe as depicted in the ninth chapter of Flaubert’s novel as well as her second affair with the character Leon. On a technical level, Risko utilizes color as a dominant and decisive factor in her work, allowing her pieces to read as color fields with subtle hints of recognizable subjects visible through wispy gestural lines and rich blocks of color.
To appreciate the minimalist nature of Risko’s creamy palettes it should be understood that she is not attempting to illustrate the actions of the novel in her work, but rather to marry the process of reading and sublimation. Risko believes in the inability of capturing the distinct physicality of a character and instead chooses to inject impressions borrowed from scenes such as the apricots that accompany Rodolphe’s break-up letter in Emma and Rodolphe, I and Emma reading her lover's letter in Emma and Rodolphe, VI. Peeling back these layered references unveils the notion of Risko reading in tandem, and the deep visual history of women readers such as Mary Cassatt's Young Lady Reading or Johannes Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.
Risko’s approach to these scenes hinges on the relationship between the actions of characters within novels and her own experience of text. In her own words, “The erotics of reading can be defined by various tensions: the solitary reader orchestrates an engagement between herself, an author, and a book’s world. The reader doesn’t do this by herself, exactly, but since their temporalities are staggered, she does do it alone.”
Likewise, Risko’s projections explore how Flaubert employs free indirect speech—a fluid shift between narration and character study—as a means to reflect how painting can become storytelling. Taking a reader-directed approach to his prose, Risko explores a different effect in her work than Flaubert does in his novel, describing Madame Bovary as decidedly unromantic yet viewing her paintings as a reflection on the romantic notions of Emma and her affairs.
Risko received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University, and completed her MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was awarded a Teaching Fellowship from SAIC in 2015 where she is currently teaching painting and drawing.
Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression.
Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.
Please join Stuart & Co. Gallery for the opening reception of Lilty Flouncy on Saturday, October 24th, 2015 from 7 - 9pm.
For more information, please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.