10 Trending Artists at The Armory Show 2014
After collecting data from the most-followed and viewed artists in our preview of The Armory Show, we’ve generated this list of ten trending artists. See them for yourself at the fair—which can be done easily with the help of our iPhone app!—and on Artsy.
10. Charlie White
With his signature graph paper backgrounds, Philadelphia-born and L.A.-based Charlie White creates films and photographs that delve into themes of gender identity, age, and particularly adolescence. A large series of his new works are on view at Loock Galerie, half of which portray nudes—further studies into gender—with the other half featuring large, elaborate spreads of chocolate, fruits, or meats. Disembodied hands reach into these scenes taking a slice of watermelon or a chocolate donut, disrupting the picture plane and the traditional still-life genre.
The granddaughter of Alice Neel, Elizabeth Neel creates intriguing abstract paintings on paper through mixing translucent washes, gestural motion, and allusions to figurative motifs like flora. Her energy and gesture have often earned her comparisons with Willem deKooning, yet her works differ in her use of space, often leaving expanses of paper untouched. Her works, on view at Galleria Monica de Cardena, are calculated and layered, evidencing multiple painting techniques and the artist’s unique process.
8. Julian Opie
Starting with photographs, Julian Opie digitally manipulates and reduces his figures to outlines and monochromatic shapes, maintaining remarkable resemblance to the original subject, all the while developing his own signature style and characters. His distilled portraiture is a lively and welcome presence at The Armory Show, with prime examples at Alan Cristea Gallery and at Galerie Bob van Orsouw, where delightful LED screens feature Opie’s figures walking in place.
The Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has expressed a concern with social responsibility within his art, which are typically large-scale sculptures and installations that employ light, air, and water; he recently gained attention for his solar-powered Little Sun project. Now at The Armory, Eliasson is highlighted at i8 Gallery’s booth, where his 56 prints hang together, forming “The hut” series, depicting tiny shacks that the artist encountered while traveling in Iceland. Originally built for shepherds, the structures are now used by hikers and hunters, for respite and recovery; Eliasson says “Travelling in Iceland has helped me understand that being present is the foundation of my doing.”
6. Marcel Dzama
Drawing from Dadaism and Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Dzama is best known for engaging scenes in ink and watercolor that feature his own iconic cast of characters, often clad in costumes, evening wear, or uniforms, performing rituals, bearing arms, or engaged in comical or erotic behavior. At David Zwirner, several of Dzama’s black-and-white collaged works are on view, in addition to a fantastic work on paper, Leda, the swan and the minotaur, while at Whitechapel Gallery’s booth, a vibrant print by the artist is available.
5. Jenny Holzer
Jenny Holzer’s mastery of language and text within art has allowed her to question consumerism, torture, and death, in mediums from paint to neons, while powerfully provoking her viewers through unabashed statements. At Sprüth Magers’s booth, two works by Holzer are on view, including TOP SECRET 11. US Government Document, part of her body of works that use declassified government documents. An earlier work from 1981 is also on view, After Dark its a Relief to See a Girl… Text: Living Series, a disturbing commentary on gender-based violence.
4. Vik Muniz
With works at four booths across both Armory piers—Sikkema Jenkins & Co., Edwynn Houk Gallery, Vivian Horan Fine Art, and Galerie Nara Roesler—a range of Muniz’s work from 2006 to 2014 are represented at the fair. Well known for his mixed media works, composed of found objects and refuse from diamonds to chocolate syrup, which he then photographs, Muniz draws from art historical references and photojournalism. His newest works on view at Galerie Nara Roesler are vibrant, large-scale digital prints embedded with meaning that is only alluded to in their titles.
3. Cecily Brown
Known for her energetic paintings depicting crowds of nudes, playfully and erotically intertwined and reclined, British artist Cecily Brown emerged in the 1990s when she moved to New York, and has since maintained her presence in the contemporary art scene. Her somewhat chaotic scenes employ a range of translucent and thickly applied paints, which translate extremely well to print form, as seen at The Armory Show, at Two Palms’s booth. Brown has been working with Two Palms since 2000, creating etchings in addition to these large-scale monotypes.
2. Xu Zhen
The contemporary Chinese performance, video, and conceptual master Xu Zhen assumes the much-deserved appointment of Armory Artist this year, and proves his talent and range through his works on view in Focus: China, at Tianrenheyi Art Center, and at the booth for his own collective, MadeIn Company. Zhen has won us over with his delightfully impastoed, candy-like Under Heaven canvases, and old master paintings that are flawed with a glare from an anonymous light source. For a real treat, take a tour through Zhen’s Shanghai studio, in our new film featuring the artist.
American photographer Philip Lorca diCorcia creates sublime, cinematic photographs, that are psychologically driven, and scrupulously staged. Two large-scale works by the artist are on view at David Zwirner’s blockbuster booth, both of which are from his recent “East of Eden” series; diCorcia explains they were “provoked by the collapse of everything, which seems to me a loss of innocence. People thought they could have anything. And then it just blew up in their faces. I’m using the Book of Genesis as a start.”