Summer is the season for emerging art. From group shows packed with up-and-coming names you’ve probably never heard of (but will know very soon) to trial balloon solos by artists freshly added to bigger galleries’ rosters, it’s high time for the art world to take in a fresh crop of talent. Here, we highlight 30 emerging artists hailing from around the globe—from Istanbul to Cape Town, São Paulo to New York—who mark the very best of the class of 2015, three of whom have been profiled in depth.
Przemek Pyszczek’s studio may only be a 20-minute ride on the train from Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, midway along a line most frequented by the Easy Jet-set on their way back and forth from Schönefeld Airport for sleepless weekends of bad drugs and great music. But the kilometer-long stretch of warehouses in Schöneweide which used to house East Berlin’s most important power station and now, in part, Pyszczek’s sundrenched atelier is a Berlin those hoards—and, for that matter, most of those who populate the city’s increasingly booming city center—rarely see.
This is Ossi country, untouched by the city’s newfound, relative economic prosperity of tech firms and startups of all colors, and thus relatively unchanged since the wall came down, save the stoppage of the whirring turbines that employed the micro-region’s residents. It’s a fitting setting for the 30-year-old, Polish-born, Canadian-raised, Berlin transplant to create works that trace his home country’s transition since the fall of the iron curtain and an ongoing journey to rediscover his own past.
2015 Artadia prize winner McArthur has held her own in a slew of group exhibitions this year—perhaps the best of which being her summer show at Vienna’s Galerie Emanuel Layr, alongside Gaylen Gerber and Jim Nutt, where her polyurethane foam block is the evolving centerpiece of the exhibition. Over time, the block’s color will fade and the form will weaken as elasticity is lost—a contingency that is, in fact, one of the best parts of the work. Come November, look for McArthur’s work in “Unorthodox” at the Jewish Museum in New York.
B. 1988 in Los Angeles. Lives and works in Los Angeles.
Summer Exhibition: “The Daily Show” at Bureau, New York.
Syms describes herself as a “conceptual entrepreneur,” which turns out to be a catch-all for a culturally engaged practice that cuts across mediums (video, installation, language), platforms (lectures, museums, publishing, the internet), and into deeply entrenched issues of identity, social injustice, and digital culture. For the New Museum Triennial earlier this year, Syms presented S1:E1 (2015), an installation that surfaced narratives of race in America by mining pop culture. This September, Bridget Donahue will host Syms’s first New York solo show, “Vertical Elevated Oblique.”
X-rays meet acupuncture in this L.A.-based artist’s new solo exhibition at High Art in Paris. In past work, Jacoby has borrowed from early images by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen—inventor of the X-ray—and at the beginning of the summer, his sculptural, wall-mounted door handles, hung with X-ray film, were arguably one of the strongest presentations at LISTE.
Pitta maps the transformative, alchemical properties of nature’s elements in installations and outdoor interventions where fire, water, and air take center stage. After exhibiting in São Paulo, Copenhagen, and Milan over the past several years, Pitta made his U.S. solo debut at Marianne Boesky this past spring. This summer, he shows new stills from an entrancing short film (which premiered at the Seattle Art Museum in June) that flips footage of a uneven seascape upside down, so that sky supports water in a dizzying inversion of environmental hierarchy.
B. 1983 in Chongqing, China. Lives and works in Beijing. Summer Exhibition: “From a Poem to the Sunset” at Daimler Contemporary, Berlin.
Since her debut solo show at Magician Space in Beijing in 2013, Guan Xiao has risen to an international stage through a lexicon of camouflage patterns, light boxes, handcrafted sculptures, and readymades, meshing past and future in installations and videos to make sense of her surroundings. For The Documentary: Geocentric Puncture (2012), which featured in the New Museum Triennial, tripods, sculptures, and kaleidoscopic backdrops were cast together to stage what appears to be a tripartite set. The work is emblematic of Guan’s overarching practice which assembles disparate objects and cultural signifiers, hinting at their significance but leaving it up to her audience to fill in the blanks.
B. 1975 in La Rochelle, France. Lives and works in Paris and Grenoble.
Summer Exhibitions: “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” at MCA Chicago; “My Epidemic (a body as public as a book can be)” at C L E A R I N G, New YorK, Brussels; “All the World’s Futures” Venice Biennale 2015; “Beauty Codes (order/disorder/chaos)” at Fondazione Giuliani, Rome and Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon.
Videos depicting Reynaud-Dewar dancing in the nude, painted red, through Fondazione Querini Stampalia—currently streaming at the Venice Biennale—are a reminder of the French ballet dancer-cum-artist’s best-known works, which have seen her whirl through the New Museum and Karma International, among other locales. A looping video of Reynaud-Dewar donning black body paint and enacting the choreography of cabaret icon Josephine Baker is but one reason to stop into her solo show at C L E A R I N G this summer.
No doubt, the window-breaking machine at Berlin’s PSM gallery (On the Impossibility of Criticism, 2010) will grab your attention as bricks barrel through panels of glass. But Furman, the young Brazilian artist behind the piece, will hold it for much longer. For this group exhibition, Furman’s work brings anger and civil disobedience into the gallery cube, channeling it into to a game that is at once playful and impactful, bestowing a lingering and visceral sense of the environment around violent political activism.
Is art the creation of a single person or really the result of collaboration, conversation, and work from multiple individuals? This is one of the central questions at the crux of the work of young British artist Kate Cooper.
Cooper first made her name as part of Auto Italia South East, an artist-run space founded in south London that has, over time, evolved into an artist collective. During the eight years of its existence, Auto Italia’s exhibitions, events, and performative works projects have often been politically charged. Their conversational and performative works have examined issues around labor, creation, and experience in and outside of art production. Cooper’s own pieces outside of Auto Italia also address some of those same themes: capitalism and commercialism, in particular.
After making waves at Slade Art School, where she won the Barto Dos Santos Memorial Award in 2014, Keeley currently enjoys her first solo exhibition, courtesy of London’s Supplement gallery. In three-dimensional wall works that layer painting, screen printing, and laser cut wood, Keeley reimagines architectural scenes that exude the stylistic serenity of a deserted museum gallery or a modernist Frank Lloyd Wright abode.
Farhi’s diverse painting practice has grabbed collectors attention this year from shows at Bill Brady—where cobalt, sky-inspired canvases hung on the walls while a riot of plastic buckets formed an installation at the center—and Neochrome, where the artist showed off his flair for the figurative, offering up photorealist paintings of windbreakers and basketball sneakers, finished with a soft lens. In spring, Farhi had a solo with United Artists, Ltd. in Marfa—featuring his well known “Wine Paintings,” abstract oil paintings that look like the haphazard product of a wine spill—and come late July, a painting that appears to be a well-used drumhead will be shown at London’s Jonathan Viner. In 2016, a show with DUVE Berlin and a duo with Grear Patterson at Rod Bianco in Oslo are on the horizon—and for Farhi, one of the brightest young artists working in his field, we expect even more to come between then and now.
B. 1973 in Seoul. Lives and works in Brooklyn.
Summer Exhibitions: “The Negative Hand” at Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City; “Mrs. Thompson’s Mirror” at MARTOS Gallery, New York; “PATRICK BRENNAN & JENNIE JIEUN LEE” at Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, New York; "Object Painting – Painting Object" at Jonathan Viner Gallery, London; “Le Musée Imaginaire” at Galerie Lefebvre & Fils, Paris.
A fierce case of artist’s block kept Lee from pursuing an active practice upon graduating from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Instead, she spent a decade working in fashion. A return to ceramics set her career back on track, beginning with a group show at Martos Gallery in 2014—thanks to some encouragement from friend and curator of the show, Eddie Martinez. This summer, her exuberant ceramics—wheel-thrown and manipulated vessels and hand-built masks, covered with texture, gesture, and a spirited approach to glazing—feature in a slew of group shows from Jonathan Viner in London to Anonymous Gallery in Mexico City.
B. 1983 in France. Lives and works in Berlin.
Summer Exhibition: “Inside China : L’Intérieur du Géant” at K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai.
Pariset first gained steam by manipulating digital fashion and beauty advertisements, dunking them in fishtanks, cutting them into strips to make lawn chairs. The Berlin-based French artist continues to create her own means of communication, most recently exploring the hospitality industry. For Pasta Hostis II (2014), featured at the Palais de Tokyo last year in “Inside China: L’Intérieur du Géant,” which will be reprised in Shanghai later this year, she strung over a dozen wire racks tangled with a variety of cooked pasta to the ceiling, with lights interspersed, casting hypnotic shadows on the surrounding walls.
B. 1989 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Lives and works in New York, New York.
Summer Exhibitions: “Tears on my Mirror Milk” at Retrospective Gallery, Hudson, New York; “The Inaugural” at Lyles and King, New York; and “Freedom Culture” at The Journal, New York.
From a second-floor studio in Brooklyn that overlooks the warehouses and scrap yards that skirt the Gowanus Canal, 26-year-old Dennison assembles sculptures that resemble urban core samples or creatures spawned from detritus. She scours the city’s streets and stockrooms for materials ranging from office chairs and synthetic foliage to deli coffee cups. The forms that result—like concrete columns sprouting rebar and mobilized by plastic wheels—are anthropomorphic, post-apocalyptic expressions of her metropolitan surroundings.
B. 1987 in Solothurn, Switzerland. Lives and works in New York and Berlin.
Summer Exhibitions: “Cookie Gate” at Ellis King, Dublin; “Days at Sea” at Carl Kostyál, London.
Scherer is perhaps best known for his 3D-printed sculptures that average online images of British actress and feminist activist Emma Watson to imagine nudes that range from depicting her as a piece of stately bronze statuary or a disrobed harajuku girl (at Berlin’s Galerie Guido W. Baudach last year) to a pale-pink, smoking mermaid perched on a fountain (at Art Basel Parcours this summer). For his summer show in Dublin, the Swiss Art Award-winner returns to an earlier series, which sees hair products used to manipulate a patch of fake sod into more painterly constructions concealed behind perspex. As with the Watsons, the works poignantly pull artificial—and more often than not online—approximations of IRL interactions into physical space and let the viewer decide whether or not to be seduced.
Gardner’s paintings—mostly of women with angular coiffes lounging or socializing in patterned environments—fuse topsy-turvy perspective, geometric abstraction, and smooth edges reminiscent of digital 3D modeling. In both portraits and still lifes, Gardner repeats and remixes motifs tied equally to everyday life and to the history of painting. His alluring, pictorially complex arrangements of smoldering cigarettes, houseplants, bare breasts, and painting palettes are being noticed in the U.S. and abroad alike (including a booth that sold out within hours at LISTE) and feature in shows in New York and London this summer.
There is a certain silence in the work of Clara Ianni—not a still, removed kind of silence, but a rather tense one, like a pregnant pause before a storm erupts. Her work embodies a latent state of violence that creeps to the surface every now and with polished manners rather than aggression. We meet in a warehouse in the south side of São Paulo as night falls. She shares this space with a group of fellow artists whose works, or fragments of them, are strewn about the floor. Hers is a desk in the corner, on which sits a MacBook Air and nothing else. The sparse surroundings look like an old factory gutted and devoid of everything but a hard concrete floor and whitewashed walls. They match her work—bold and brash in content, understated in form.
Still Life or Study for Vanishing Point was the first of her pieces to really strike me. Nine sheets of steel hang on the wall grouped in three parallel rows, three plaques in each of them, forming a grid. One could mistake it for some kind of posthumous Donald Judd, except it’s pierced by bullets. When she first did this piece four years ago at the Museu da Pampulha, in Belo Horizonte, local police officers were called in to shoot at these skins of metal. Ianni just installed the same piece at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, asking German police contribute to what she calls “an archeology of ammunition.”
B. 1983 in Breisach am Rhein, Germany. Lives and works in Berlin.
Summer Exhibitions: “Landscape Painting,” at Marlborough Chelsea, New York; “Tiere sind dumm und Pflanzen noch viel dümmer” at Kunstverein Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany; “Tunnel Vision” at Momentum 8, Momentum Kunsthall, Moss, Norway; “Fire and Forget” at KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin.
Lucky for those who learned of von Bismarck through his much-talked-about installation at Art Basel Unlimited—where he lived in the center of a spinning concrete disk, complete with a desk and bed—this spirited, limit-testing style permeates through his practice. For his summer solo show at Marlborough Chelsea, von Bismarck turned the traditional act of landscape painting on its head. Traveling to a far-flung Mexican desert, he slathered cacti, stones, and sand with a fresh coat of paint. He documented the cheeky process, rooted in a play on words, in videos and photographs that are now on view at Kunstverein Gottingen.
Kline had an explosive 2015, garnering an appearance in the inaugural exhibition of the new Whitney, an installation in the New Museum Triennial, and a smattering of gallery cameos in Berlin, Paris, Glasgow, and New York. This momentum shows no signs of ebbing. The politically minded artist, who uses internet and pop culture as fodder (his teletubbies turned riot police will make an impact on kids and adults alike), contributes a digitally manipulated video of Whitney Houston to Pilar Corrias’s current exhibition and will present solo show at Modern Art Oxford later this summer.
It’s no news that Moscow-born artist Kantarovksy is an excellent painter. But with Happy Soul (2014), his first-ever animation, which screened this summer at Art Basel Unlimited, Kantarovksy entered a world fusing film and figurative painting (think playful narratives, set to a cappella Motown, projected onto a painting of a nude man) where he’s set the bar very, very high. What’s more, Kantarovksy donned the artist-as-curator hat for “NO JOKE,” a summer group show with Tanya Leighton (where he’ll have a solo show in February 2016) and come August, his work will be shown in the Ljubljana Biennial.
By mining digital image technologies and their various, seemingly magical trappings, New York-based Citarella keeps photography at the crux of his multimedia practice. He has sutured C-prints of clouds, color gradients, marble plinths, and nude bodies together in wall-scale installations and three-dimensional metal grids—pastiches that visualize the networked quality of image culture and hinge on the transfigurative power of editing tools and digital dissemination.
B. 1984 IN CLEVELAND, OHIO. LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK.
SUMMER EXHIBITION: “THERE IS NO FACT OF THE MATTER AS TO WHETHER OR NOT P” AT 247365, NEW YORK.
The New York art world is buzzing over Bruder, whose tondo paintings have skipped from Brooklyn to Queens to Chinatown, and are now the subject of one of the Lower East Side’s best summer exhibitions, at 247365. Bruder’s circular paintings, a shape meant to echo the magnifying glass he used to examine each work’s subject—including a grinning peach and a bucolic, half-upside-down village—are both charming and surreal, and have already turned many a head.
With Chanel makeup smeared across the fabric of woolen suits and nude women painted head-to-toe, wandering through Peres Projects’s Berlin space, Bolivian-American artist Huanca brilliantly jabs at ideals of female power and beauty, and cultural norms—particularly those of the corporate exec. Meanwhile in Paris, you can find Huanca’s work in a group show at Galerie Valentin through the end of the July. (If you can’t make either show, the #DonnaHuanca hashtag is worth a spin to catch snaps of the performances.)
Though better known in Turkey, multimedia artist Aladağ’s name is percolating among a more international clientele after globe-trotting exhibition appearances this year in Munich, Switzerland, Italy, and elsewhere. In “Traces,” a concurrent exhibition on view at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and Wentrup Gallery in Berlin, Aladag frames her personal experience with Stuttgart, where she immigrated as a child and lived during adolescence. The haunting three-channel video installation, set to a soundtrack of city noise amplified by the strains of violins and wind chimes, strikes universal chords related to identity politics, migrant communities, and class dynamics.
Thirty-year-old Yale MFA grad Nikki Maloof is making a name for herself through fresh paintings of jungle exotica in fluorescent hues. In addition to being the binding agent behind Salon 94’s smart summer show “Tiger Tiger,” Maloof’s works, particularly a series of morose monkeys, were also shown at 247365 this past spring. While her glowing primates, jungle creatures, and sunkissed nudes—all couched in glowing vegetation—appear to be lighthearted upon first glance, their somber expressions suggest otherwise.
B. 1989 in Cape Town. Lives and works in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Summer Exhibitions: “Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design” at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany; August Exhibition at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg; South African Pavilion at 56th Venice Biennale, “What remains is tomorrow,” South Africa.
Lacing art with activism, Gunn-Salie’s engagement with apartheid—including altering a street sign in Cape Town to read “District Six”—earned him a place in South Africa’s pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Along with being selected to be a part of Simon Castets and Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 89plus project, Gunn-Salie’s work is highlighted in the Vitra Design Museum’s current survey of contemporary African design.
B. 1983 in Istanbul. Lives and works in Istanbul.
Summer Exhibition: “Summertime*” at Galerist, Istanbul.
With a penchant for finding the beauty in violence, Istanbul native Tapan puts his Central St. Martin’s training to work for his latest outing in “Summertime*,” a group show at Galerist. Asking us to think about what insidiousness might run beneath the carefree surface of summer, Tapan’s contributions—mirrors warped by heat and a diptych comprised of two metal sheets riddled with bullet holes—are abstract, textured, and mangled, yet never grotesque.
With numerous exhibitions in the past year, among them a solo show at Lima Zulu in London, artist and sometime poet Darling looks to the violence and complicity of contemporary culture in a slippery, ever-shifting practice encompassing sexual politics, material inquiry and capitalist critique. Jesse's recent contribution to “they, them,” an exhibition that recently closed at DREI in Cologne, saw the artist traversing sculptural ground with an assemblage of found objects, Princess Horse (Tiril’s Horse)(2015), that came together as a gender-bending, jerry-rigged plaything. Upcoming projects include a version of Antigone at the Serpentine Pavilion in September and a solo presentation at Company gallery in NYC.
This Wisconsin native has made viewers and collectors look up and take notice, sometimes literally, through noteworthy showings at LISTE and at SculptureCenter, where Rantanen contributed a 50 foot-high work assembled out of wooden desktops. He also asked viewers to crane their necks during a show at Tanya Leighton this summer, for which he designed endearing plastic animals—an owl, a polar bear, a worm—that nonchalantly suspended the gallery’s fluorescent lights from the ceiling.
Known for his captivating abstract paintings, this Brazilian artist has taken the São Paulo art scene by storm, selling out his show at Mendes Wood in 2014 before heading to Berlin for his first European solo exhibition at VeneKlasen/Werner. Now, Arruda has turned to curating, bringing together his paintings with the works of Felipe Cohen, Jac Leirner, Paulo Monteiro, and others in the subtle and sublime “Deserto-Modelo” at London’s Herald St gallery.
Banner images, from left: Jennie Jieun Lee, Strawberry Switchblade, 2015. Courtesy Martos Gallery. Nikki Maloof, Looking Back, 2015. Courtesy Salon 94. Julius von Bismarck, Landscape Painting (Jungle), 2015. Courtesy Marlborough Chelsea. Lauren Keeley, Trewyn, 2015. Courtesy Supplement. Joshua Citarella, Installation view of “Figure 8” featuring at Clifton Benevento. Courtesy Clifton Benevento.