The Artists on Our Radar in 2022


5 Artists on Our Radar in October 2022

Artsy Editorial
Oct 3, 2022 7:23PM

“Artists on Our Radar” is a monthly series produced by the Artsy team. Utilizing our art expertise and access to Artsy data, 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.

Anastasia Komar

B. 1986, Kaliningrad, Russia. Lives and works in New York.

Anastasia Komar
Hitodama, 2022
Fragment Gallery
Anastasia Komar
Suberin, 2022
Fragment Gallery

Anastasia Komar’s ethereal compositions contemplate ideas of spatial tension. In her current solo exhibition “Hosts” at Management Gallery, the New York–based artist continues her exploration of myth and science through detailed paintings infused with biomorphic sculptural forms. “Hosts” is on view through October 16th, and calls attention to less widely taught figures in history, such as Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman whose cancer cells were used to make key discoveries in medical research without her knowledge or consent.

In Suberin (2022), delicate vines made from glass polymer extend across the canvas, on which small, pastel brushstrokes form abstract planes. Komar’s meticulous markmaking amplifies the work’s intricate sculptural qualities, and stylistically takes inspiration from traditional Pointillism techniques. The presence of the polymer structure creates a sense of visual tension, as Komar pushes spatial boundaries and toes the line between painting and sculpture.


And in Hitodama (2022), Komar examines spirituality by depicting organisms that transcend reality. The title references Japanese folklore and describes the glowing orbs believed to represent human souls. In Komar’s multidimensional work, strips of flaming polymer curl across the surface of the painting, coalescing both physically and symbolically. Unknown life forms occupy the space between painting and viewer, expressing emotional and spiritual truths.

Komar earned a master’s degree in architecture and environmental design from the Moscow Architectural Institute. Komar completed a summer residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea, as well as New Collectors Gallery and Asphodel Gallery, which are both in New York.

—Adeola Gay

Mia Middleton

B. 1988, New Zealand. Lives and works in Sydney.

Mia Middleton’s paintings materialize the fleeting images, memories, and experiences of daily life. Encounters that might lack significance for others—like the shoes of a stranger, the upholstery of a sofa, or a cigarette in an ashtray—are poetically foregrounded in her small-scale, muted, monochromatic paintings.

In other artists’ hands, a memory or dream might be conveyed through a melodramatic narrative, but with Middleton, fleeting images are given agency to simply be, thus allowing audiences to interpret the work on its own. This can be seen in her latest solo exhibition “Three Secrets,” on view through October 15th at COMA in Sydney. The show features paintings that reflect the ephemerality of our reflections in personal objects or spaces.

Represented by Cob, the sculptor-turned-painter received a dual degree (BA/BFA) in philosophy with honors and in photomedia production from the University of New South Wales. Middleton’s background in philosophy drives her practice as she toys with theories related to the subconscious and Jacques Lacan’s mirror-stage across her work. Meanwhile, her photographic background informs her painterly approach, as many of her paintings evoke a well-choreographed composition. However lifelike Middleton’s paintings may be, her distinctive use of a monochromatic palette stops her images from ever being perceived as photorealistic.

Middleton completed an artist residency at PM/AM in London earlier this year. Later this fall, the gallery will host the artist’s third solo exhibition of the year following “Three Secrets” and “Through the Gate” at Painters, Painting, Paintings (PPP) in Hertfordshire, England.

—Ayanna Dozier

Chiffon Thomas

B. 1991, Chicago. Lives and works in Los Angeles.

Chiffon Thomas
Rose Window Tower, 2022

Chiffon Thomas builds new worlds in “Staircase to the Rose Window,” the artist’s first solo show at P.P.O.W in New York. On view through October 15th, the exhibition equips viewers with the necessary tools and vocabulary to critique the institutional power structures that govern notions of race, gender, and sexuality.

In his multimedia works, Thomas uses everyday objects to form what he calls “impossible bodies.” For Rose Window Tower (2022), the artist molded everyday materials such as spindles, wire spools, and steel bars into a structure resembling a gothic cathedral, complete with a rose window. Instead of affixing the architectural detail on the apse of the cathedral to face eastward, as tradition would dictate, Thomas placed the rose window on the flat, west-facing facade. By taking the conventional and—to some, sacred—form of a cathedral and adjusting it to his liking, Thomas exerts autonomy over an institutional structure, making way for new possibilities while acknowledging the past.

Shortly after “Staircase to the Rose Window” opened, Thomas was one of 15 artists awarded the Joan Mitchell Fellowship. He will make his museum debut in September 2023 with a solo exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Thomas is represented by P.P.O.W and Los Angeles–based Kohn Gallery, and holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Thomas has also participated in noteworthy artist residencies with organizations such as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, and Fountainhead in Miami. His works can also be found in the permanent collections of multiple institutions, including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, among others.

—Isabelle Sakelaris

Su Su

B. Beijing. Lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In Su Su’s vivid, eerie paintings, details are abstracted into painterly swirls, faces are distorted by double vision, and bodies are rendered in acidic hues. Now based in Pittsburgh, the artist emigrated from China for graduate school, and channels her experiences of cultural dislocation into her work.

This is particularly evident in the psychedelic landscape of Deer Life (2022)—a standout from her current solo exhibition “From Your Special Friend” at Chicago’s Kavi Gupta—where deer motifs borrowed from Qing Dynasty ceramics and the 1942 Walt Disney animation Bambi descend into a whirlpool in which the artist herself bathes. This warping and splicing of American and Chinese iconography nods to the ubiquity of cultural exchange in American life: The artist behind Bambi, a canonical American film, was Tyrus Wong, a Chinese immigrant who drew inspiration from Song Dynasty landscape paintings.

Formally innovative and culturally inquisitive, Su Su has also developed a distinctive technique in which she uses syringes to inject oil paint into stretched tulle. In this series, she works from the backside of her paintings so that streams of pigment protrude from their mesh surfaces, producing craggy textures that contrast with their delicate silk substrates. In “From Your Special Friend,” which is on view through November 5th, the works deploying this technique are self-portraits, offering a fresh approach to a centuries-old tradition.

Su Su received an MFA in costume design from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama before turning to painting full-time. Her work was included in Kavi Gupta’s presentation at this year’s Armory Show and is currently on view in “Wonder Women,” a group show at Jeffrey Deitch in Los Angeles. Her paintings have also been exhibited by institutions such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the de la Cruz Collection. In 2021, Su Su was a finalist for the Bennett Prize.

—Olivia Horn

Nokukhanya Langa

B. 1991, Silver Spring, Maryland. Lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.

Nokukhanya Langa, who is currently having her first U.K. solo show at Saatchi Yates in London, creates mesmerizing mixed-media works ranging from swirling, technicolored spirals on organically shaped canvases to gray, concrete-esque paintings scrawled with cheeky texts and graffiti-like drawings. Dabbling across abstraction and figuration, Langa effectively channels into her work the overwhelming, ever-evolving nature of our media-obsessed, internet-dependent culture. Intriguingly, her works manage to convey the sensation of dissociating or escaping reality. At the same time, Langa embeds in her pieces a personal lexicon inspired by her experiences growing up around various cultures, having lived in the United States, India, South Africa, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

In addition to her exhibition at Saatchi Yates, which is on view through November 14th, Langa had a solo show earlier this year at Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She finished her postgraduate studies at HISK, in Ghent, in 2020, and earned an MA in painting from the Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands. Langa has been recognized through various awards and grants, including the C.o.C.A Award 2021 and the Mondriaan Fonds Stipendium for Emerging Artists. Her work has also been shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Barbé Urbain in Ghent, Ballon Rouge Collective in Brussels, and Galerie van Gelder in Rotterdam, among others.

—Casey Lesser

Artsy Editorial

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Chiffon Thomas was represented by Kohn Gallery. He is represented by Kohn Gallery and P.P.O.W.