In "Fall," part of a series, not surprisingly titled "The Seasons," Olga Polunin personifies the season as a beautiful, young, Asian woman.
She is bare breasted and the composition ends just beneath them, reminiscent of any number of European paintings, in particular the School of Fontainebleau piece "Gabrielle d'Estrées and One of Her Sisters" (1594) sans second figure, of course.
The young woman's eyes look expectantly beyond the painting's edges, anticipating Winter perhaps. She looks almost as if she's flirting with the awaiting season.
The wind blows her hair and the changing leaves on the branches behind her. It also brushes the transparent chemise from her shoulder. Her lips are pursed with just the faintest smile playing on them.
Polunin paints a stylized figure rather than a realistic one. The young woman's eyes are dramatically slanted and the arch of her brow is equally dramatic. Her skin is creamy in color and perfectly smooth. There is a glow around her head -- a convention often found in paintings of the Madonna.
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There is a youthfulness to Polunin's work as well as a sense of movement. All four of the "The Seasons" are conflicting in that they contain both classical elements and intriguingly modern ones. The curved lines and saturated colors connote richness and sensuality.
The figure engages the viewer, extending an invitation to explore (or conspire) what's to come. An invitation that's tough to ignore.
See "Fall" at the Joel Cooner Gallery, 1601 Dragon St. Visit joelcooner.com.