Part of our World In Colour Season

Open now until 14 Jan 2024

Gallery 8

Admission is FREE

This summer, the Ashmolean launches a new exhibition series of contemporary art: Ashmolean NOW. Contemporary artists are invited to create new work inspired by the Ashmolean’s historical collections. 

The first exhibition is dedicated to contemporary painting. It juxtaposes the work of two London-based painters, Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb.

Despite stylistic differences, the work of both artists links art historical inspirations with a dynamic and contemporary painterly language. The paintings displayed, all made specifically for this exhibition, convey a timeless passion for the medium of painting, its materials and processes.

Inside the Ashmolean now exhibition with a long shot of the gallery showing large-scale colourful paintings by Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb

Inside the exhibition gallery. Photo Hannah Pye

Daniel Crews-Chubb (b. 1984) will present a group of large-scale paintings that take inspiration from ancient sculptures of deities and non-human figures found in the Ashmolean.


daniel 3 immortals detail sculptures

Left: Detail from Daniel Crews-Chubb's 3 Immortals (ultramarine blue) and (right) the artist in the Ashmolean's Cast Gallery 


These ‘immortals’, as Crews-Chubb calls his fantastical figures, are created through a laborious process of addition and revision including drawing, impasto, and collage.

The textured patchwork of his canvasses gives Crews-Chubb’s monumental subjects a three-dimensional presence that, as he describes, ‘corrodes the boundary between painting and sculpture’. 

Flora Yukhnovich (b. 1990) found herself drawn to the palettes and compositions of the Museum’s Dutch and Flemish still life paintings. 

flora detail still life detail 1500

Left: Detail from Flora Yukhnovich's Honey Trap, 2022, inspired by artworks in the Ashmolean's Still Life Paintings gallery, such as Willem van Aelst's A Vase of Flowers with a Watch (right)


Her large-sized paintings feature intense red, pink, peach and green colours and an abstracted painterly language. Circular forms and soft contours suggest organic growth, while glowing light and dark contrasts create an illusion of three-dimensional depth.

Yukhnovich's work playfully and critically explores different notions of femininity in the history of art and popular culture, looking at contrasting stereotypes like ‘virtuous’ and ‘monstrous’ women.

Buy the exhibition catalogue


About Ashmolean NOW

For this series of three exhibitions in Gallery 8, each artist will explore different areas of the Museum’s broad collections. Ashmolean NOW will feature their four very different points of view. Our summer exhibition will be followed by Pio Abad in February 2024 and Bettina von Zwehl in October 2024.

Exhibition supported by:

Christian Levett and those who wish to remain anonymous
Timothy Taylor
Victoria Miro
The Patrons of the Ashmolean Museum 
Ben Brown