5 Artists on Our Radar in February 2021

“Artists on Our Radar” is a monthly series produced collaboratively by Artsy’s Editorial and Curatorial teams. Utilizing our editors’ art expertise and our curators’ unique insights 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, viewing rooms, or sale inquiries on Artsy.

B. 1979, Ivory Coast. Lives and works in Paris.

Multidisciplinary artist Didier Viodé has developed a body of work that explores the essence of humanity. Recently, his works were featured at the highly anticipated Paris edition of the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, with SEPTIEME Gallery; and his first solo show with Swiss gallery Foreign Agent, “Gbeto,” runs through February 10th. Inspired by everyday objects, Viodé often makes use of common materials such as cardboard, plastic, and burlap in his paintings. He approaches artmaking from an anthropological perspective, contemplating the meaning of human existence.
Having emigrated from the Ivory Coast to France, Viodé explores themes such as immigration and belonging in his painted portraits. His works evidence both the harsh realities and tranquil moments of everyday life. Viodé uses his portraits to capture the lives of anonymous city dwellers, one story at a time. By mixing acrylic and ink, and using different brush techniques, Viodé explores the human body and movement while developing intricate narratives about communities and cultural practices. His use of color is careful and contemplative, blending muted tones and soft hues. Humanity continues to be the driving force behind his practice. “I try to pay homage to all human beings,” Viodé said of his work in a 2020 post on Instagram.
—Adeola Gay

B. 1987, Cheltenham, England. Lives and works in London and Berlin.

Rebecca Ackroyd creates tactile figurative sculptures and large-scale pastel drawings that are both sensual and repulsive. Her latest body of work is currently featured a sprawling solo show, “100mph,” at Peres Projects in Berlin through February 26th. In the show, Ackroyd builds on her fascination with hair as a record of personal histories—much like rings on a tree.
In her 2D works and sculptures, plush waves of colorful hair are woven through fishnet tights and bondage straps, or applied to canvas like silky, batted eyelashes. In contrast to these erotic curls, show-goers will also catch a disconcerting glimpse of human hair jutting out from a disembodied resin torso pegged to the wall. The effect is surrealistic, sensory, and destabilizing—as if we’ve stumbled into Ackroyd’s dreams.
Collectors are taking note of the Royal Academy graduate’s sensitive reflections on femininity, power, and personal psychology. Last year, demand for Ackroyd’s work surged on Artsy; she held solo shows at Galleri Opdahl in Stavanger, Norway, and Lock Up International in London. Ackroyd has also mounted solo shows at Fondazione Pomodoro in Milan and the Zabludowicz Collection in London.
—Jordan Huelskamp

B. 1980, Dover, New Hampshire. Lives and works in New York.
Brooklyn-based artist Lauren Luloff creates abstracted landscape paintings by adding dye to large swaths of silk fabric. She recently caught our attention through a pair of solo exhibitions: “Portraits of Alex and Other Murmurings” at Ceysson & Bénétière in Saint Etienne, which closed in January, and “Sequences” at Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton, which is on view through March 20th.
For both exhibitions, Luloff presented new bodies of large-scale, hanging textile works. These works demonstrate a shift away from the artist’s use of reclaimed fabrics with bold patterns, to painting colorful designs directly onto silk using a process she refers to as “imaging,” through which she depicts memories. This welcome change in approach has resulted in a mélange of dreamlike florals and plaids that describe the essence of a place or person, rather than its likeness.
A 2010 grad of Bard College’s MFA painting program, Luloff has exhibited with many notable galleries and institutions in New York, including The Queens Museum, Marlborough Gallery, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Galerie Lelong, CANADA Gallery, and The Hole. Her work has also been reviewed by major publications such as the New York Times and Art in America.
—Juliana Lopez

B. 1985, Baltimore. Lives and works in Berlin and Los Angeles.

Artist-slash-scholar Kandis Williams is a cross-disciplinary luminary, imbuing collage, performance, video, publishing, curating, and educating with deeply layered histories rooted in critical theory. In 2016, she founded Cassandra Press with artists Taylor Doran and —a reader and resource named after the Trojan princess with the divine power to see the future, but cursed with the fate that no one would believe her prophecies. Whether exploring the symbolism of invasive plant species at The Huntington or teaching courses about white supremacy in American horror films, Williams is a truth teller in every aspect of her work, continually asking the question: “What would the world look like if Black women were believed?”
The past year has been especially busy for Williams. She was featured in the 2020 edition of the “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum and Huntington Libraries; presented a solo exhibition, “A Field,” at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU in Richmond, Virginia; and led the dramaturgy and scenography for Louis Vuitton’s –directed 15-minute film for its fall/winter men’s collection. This January, her genius was recognized with the Grants to Artist award, presented by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. On Artsy, demand for her works grew nearly four times in 2020 compared to the previous year. Williams is undoubtedly an artist to watch—and, furthermore, to invest time towards unraveling and understanding the symbolism beneath the surface of her works.
—Sarah Gottesman

B. 1988, Binghamton, New York. Lives and works in New York.

Theresa Daddezio’s oil paintings are filled with sinuous lines and pulsing gradations of color. Her singular, abstracted patterns resemble parts of the natural realm (tree trunks, petals, layers of earth, channels of water) as much as the physical infrastructure that powers our modern world (undulating bundles of cables, shiny machinery). While she mines some inspiration from the traditions of color-field painting and biomorphic abstraction, Daddezio also taps into personal experiences with dance and playing the drums to inform her rhythmic compositions. There is a sense of interconnectedness throughout her works, which is due in large part to her sequential method of working—one painting always leads to the next.
This past December, New York’s DC Moore Gallery announced its representation of Daddezio and, in January, presented her inaugural solo show, “Altum Corpus.” She began the body of work in 2019 after visiting a defunct Soviet bathhouse in Tskaltubo, Georgia. The site, where natural springs once thrived, was deserted, its daisy-shaped pools decayed and overgrown with vegetation. Daddezio was inspired to create paintings that encapsulate that sensation of the natural and artificial colliding; and the human body convening with elements of nature.
Daddezio earned her MFA from Hunter College in 2018. Her work has also been shown at various galleries across the United States including PROTO Gallery, Pentimenti Gallery, and Barney Savage Gallery.
—Casey Lesser
Artsy Curatorial
Artsy Editorial