5 Artists on Our Radar in November 2021
“Artists on Our Radar” is a monthly series produced by the Artsy team. Utilizing our art expertise and access to Artsy data, each month, we highlight five artists who have our attention. To make our selections, we’ve determined which artists made an impact this past month through new gallery representation, exhibitions, auctions, art fairs, or fresh works on Artsy.
B. 1989, Los Angeles. Lives and works in Los Angeles.
The women in Hana Ward’s luminous canvases, aglow in Henri Rousseau–esque landscapes, are strong, radiant, and self-possessed. According to the artist, these anonymous figures—who sit alone, sip coffee, or gaze out past the viewer—are projections of her ancestors. “When I paint, I try to look for guidance from the people who came before me,” Ward writes on her website. Her paintings are spiritual and intuitive celebrations of her mixed heritage; Ward describes herself as “a lil’ Japanese but Black on both sides.”
Ward, who is represented by Ochi Projects in Los Angeles, caught the attention of collectors at this year’s Independent fair. Presented by New York’s Mrs. Gallery, Ward’s four paintings in the booth sold out almost immediately. One of them, a large canvas featuring two women walking in a lush jungle under a tangerine orange sky and crimson sun, was purchased by X Museum in Beijing. This institutional support affirms the growing demand for works by the up-and-coming artist, whose first solo exhibition with Mrs. Gallery opens on November 6th.
B. 1951, Vancouver, Canada. Lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada.
Over the course of 40 years, Canadian interdisciplinary artist Wanda Koop has gained acclaim for her large-scale surrealistic landscapes that investigate the rapid urbanization of the natural world. A 2016 recipient of the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the artist builds her canvases with muted layers of acrylic paint before introducing bold, disruptive flashes of neon colors that allude to our current climate crisis.
Koop, who is represented by Night Gallery in Los Angeles and Blouin Division in Montreal and Toronto, creates otherworldly works with contrasting colors and depth, oscillating between real and imagined scenes. Radiating over a still riverbank in Last Night (2021), a bright pink sun threatens to erupt at any minute. In Delta (2020), a river birch decays into an algae-colored body of water as strips of tree bark turn into a radioactive green. Both works are currently featured in Blouin Division’s presentation at Art Toronto 2021, which closed its in-person component in late October but runs online exclusively on Artsy through early December.
B. 1981, Tokyo. Lives and works in Hamburg.
Asana Fujikawa’s alluring ceramic sculptures conjure a fairy-tale world populated by ghouls, half-wilted bouquets, and mysterious women. In Ein Waldmensch, der mit einer Schnecke zusammen lebt (2016), a treelike figure strides forward in brilliant red overalls; in Ein ausländisches Kind 2 (2020), a ghost opens its mouth in surprise, its torso covered with delicately rendered moths. Fujikawa’s figures often appear brittle, materializing in bright colors like faded Victorian porcelain dolls that have spent too much time in the real world.
A graduate of Nagoya Zokei University and HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg, where she completed a master’s degree in 2016, Fujikawa has exhibited her work widely. In Berlin, she recently held a solo show, “Once white drops fell from your nipple onto my high heel, do you still remember?” at Galerie Friese, and was paired with David Hockney in a two-person exhibition at Georg Kolbe Museum in 2020 that later traveled to OP ENHEIM in Wrocław, Poland. Additionally, she has received grants from the likes of the Dorit & Alexander Otto Foundation and the Hamburg Cultural Foundation.
B. 1994, Lagos. Lives and works in Lagos.
Multidisciplinary artist Deborah Segun is garnering attention for her large-scale figurative works that celebrate the beauty and nuances of womanhood. With an intuitive gaze, Segun deconstructs traditional representations of women, reimagining the female figure using smooth, rich curves and exaggerated silhouettes that recall the modernist vocabulary of Cubism.
Fresh off the heels of exhibiting at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair with SMO Contemporary Art, the Lagos-based artist will present paintings that serve as visual translations of grief in “How to Fall in Love,” her December solo show at Beers London. At once tender and alluring, the vulnerable portraits offer space for healing. Rendered with vibrant colors, Segun’s figures possess strength and warmth that help the artist navigate her own personal narratives of love and self-identity. “I didn’t give myself a chance to fall in love with myself because I didn’t think she was deserving of it,” Segun shared with her gallery. Employing fresh compositions and fluid strokes of blue and earth-tone acrylic, Segun’s intimate portraits capture moments of joy and acceptance, evoking a sense of hope.
B. 1987, St. Louis, Missouri. Lives and works in New York City.
In “Precarious Arrangements,” Brianne Garcia’s first solo exhibition with Nina Johnson, the artist presents works created with layered strips of muslin, resulting in abstract arrangements on the precipice of figuration. The painted muslin in Collapsing Structure (2021), for example, was carefully cut to allow the fabric to fold in on itself like a building buckling under pressure.
Although her compositions are made of disparate pieces of cloth sewn together, they’re unified by Garcia’s clever use of color. Employing different shades of blue, Garcia draws the viewer’s eye diagonally across Catapult (2021), which spans 51 and a half inches wide, as if watching a recently launched projectile tear through the sky. Garcia’s arrangements of color and form engage her audience’s perceptions and invite us to participate in imagemaking.