Emmanuel Taku

A graduate in Visual Arts and Textiles of the Ghanatta Institute of Art and Design, Emmanuel Taku studied with well-known figurative painters Amoako Boafo and Otis Quaicoe, and has been practicing different forms of portraiture for more than ten years. His subjects are often clothed in striking floral prints, which he prints on the canvas using a distinct silk screen method. Taku’s works incorporate a variety of materials, as he applies textiles and newspapers onto canvas, fiberglass, fiber net, mesh, or plywood.

Reminiscent of Malick Sidibé, the artist combines his focus on portraiture with a longstanding passion for textiles and patterns, passed on to him through his mother. Taku’s paintings depict black people striking a pose, as if challenging the viewer to take a closer look. For the artist, adding layers of abstraction to his portraits is a way to reclaim dominant narratives about black bodies and to reject their objectification. With their supernatural appearance, Taku lends his subjects the status of demi-gods or mythical heroes. His practice thereby positions black people as worthy of awe and reverence, constituting an important voice in the recent rise of black portraiture in contemporary art.

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Ayşe Erkmen

Ayşe Erkmen is a visual artist recognized as the “one of the foremost Turkish artists.” She is living and working in Berlin and in Istanbul. Influenced by specific sites, histories and geographies Ayşe Erkmen’s works takes the social and physical environment that she is in.

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Donald Judd

Donald Clarence Judd was an American artist associated with minimalism. In his work, Judd sought autonomy and clarity for the constructed object and the space created by it, ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy.

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John Armleder

John Armleder is a Swiss performance artist, painter, sculptor, critic, and curator. His work is based on his involvement with Fluxus in the 1960s and 1970s, when he created performance art pieces, installations and collective art activities that were strongly influenced by John Cage.

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Mario Schifano

Mario Schifano was an Italian painter and collagist of the Postmodern tradition. He also achieved some renown as a film-maker and rock musician.

He is considered to be one of the most significant and pre-eminent artists of Italian postmodernism. His work was exhibited in the famous 1962 “New Realists” show at the Sidney Janis Gallery with other young Pop art and Nouveau réalisme innovators, including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He became part of the core group of artists comprising the “Scuola di Piazza del Popolo” alongside Franco Angeli and Tano Festa. Reputed as a prolific and exuberant artist, he nonetheless struggled with a lifelong drug habit that earned him the label maledetto, or “cursed”.

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Loie Hollowell

Loie Hollowell is an American painter. She was born in 1983 and raised in Northern California. She currently lives and works in New York City.

Hollowell creates abstract biomorphic paintings that suggest spirituality and sexuality. Hollowell’s work is inspired by tantric painting traditions, and she has been compared to the artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Hollowell’s paintings have been described as “abstract body landscapes” by Martha Schwendener of the New York Times. Known for paintings and drawings that explore the bodily landscape, Loie Hollowell’s practice exists in the liminal space between abstraction and figuration, otherworldly and corporeal.

Originating in autobiography, her work explores themes of sexuality, pregnancy and birth. Hollowell’s geometric compositions use symbolic shapes such as the mandorla, ogee and lingam to build her distinctive visual lexicon. In referencing her own personal experiences, Hollowell’s paintings are at once personal and universal in their fierce vulnerability. Her use of symmetry – often anchoring her compositions in a central, singular axis – relates her paintings to her own body as well as the natural world.

For Hollowell, the scale of her work is particularly significant as she creates each work in direct correlation with the size of the body part depicted, be it her head, breasts, groin, or entire body. Furthering her exploration of physicality, Hollowell adheres sculpted forms onto her canvases to confound expectations of painting. Hollowell’s protruding forms are blended seamlessly, forcing the viewer to move around the canvas to determine whether it is an illusory flat surface or three-dimensional. This adds a playful, performative aspect to her work that speaks to Hollowell’s masterful manipulation of space, surface, light and shadow.

With strong colors, varied textures, and geometric symmetry, Hollowell’s practice is situated in lineage with the work of American artists like Agnes Pelton, Georgia O’Keeffe and Judy Chicago. She is also greatly influenced by the work of the California Light and Space Movement as well as Neo-Tantric painters like Ghulam Rasool Santosh and Biren De.

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Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known both for his innovative mobiles (kinetic sculptures powered by motors or air currents) that embrace chance in their aesthetic, and static “stabiles”[1] monumental public sculptures. He didn’t limit his art to sculptures; he also created paintings, jewellery, theatre sets and costumes.

Calder preferred not to analyse his work, saying, “Theories may be all very well for the artist himself, but they shouldn’t be broadcast to other people.”

Born into a family of artists, Calder’s work first gained attention in Paris in the 1920s and was soon championed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, resulting in a retrospective exhibition in 1943. Major retrospectives were also held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1964) and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1974).

Calder’s work is in many permanent collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. He produced many large public works, including .125 (at JFK Airport, 1957), Pittsburgh (Carnegie International prize winner 1958, Pittsburgh International Airport) Spirale (UNESCO in Paris, 1958), Flamingo and Universe (both in Chicago, 1974), and Mountains and Clouds (Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 1996).

Although primarily known for his sculpture, Calder also created paintings and prints, miniatures (such as his famous Cirque Calder), theater set design, jewelry design, tapestries and rugs, and political posters. He was honored by the US Postal Service with a set of five 32-cent stamps in 1998, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously in 1977, after refusing to receive it from Gerald Ford one year earlier in protest of the Vietnam War.

An important Calder work is the monumental “Floating Clouds” (1952–1953) of the Aula Magna (Central University of Venezuela) of the University City of Caracas in Venezuela. This work is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Calder’s clouds were specially designed to combine art and technology, making the auditorium one of the top 5 university auditoriums in the world by sound quality.

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Donald Sultan

Donald K. Sultan (born 1951) is an American painter, sculptor, and printmaker, particularly well-known for large-scale still life paintings and the use of industrial materials such as tar, enamel, spackle and vinyl tiles. He has been exhibiting internationally in prominent museums and galleries, and his works are included in important museum collections all over the globe. Sultan is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for his artistic achievements.

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Robert Longo

Robert Longo is a Pictures Generation American artist, filmmaker, photographer and musician. Longo became first well known in the 1980s for his Men in the Cities drawing and print series, which depict sharply dressed men and women writhing in contorted emotion.

Although he studied sculpture, drawing remained Longo’s favorite form of self-expression. However, the sculptural influence pervades his drawing technique, as Longo’s “portraits” have a distinctive chiseled line that seems to give the drawings a three-dimensional quality. Longo uses graphite like clay, molding it to create images like the writhing, dancing figures in his seminal Men in the Cities series. For that series, Longo photographed his friends lurching backward, collapsing forward or sprawled on invisible pavement. After enlarging the pictures through a projector, he and an artist assistant drew them in sizes ranging from three-quarter scale to larger than life-size. In the process, Longo often dramatized poses and always standardized attire into quite formal, black-and-white clothing. The idea for this work came, in 1975, from a still image in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film The American Soldier. According to art critic William Wilson of the Los Angeles Times, the pictures recall nothing so much as the final scene in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. About four years passed before Longo turned the vision of a man shot in the back into a monumental series of drawings. He produced about 60 Men in the Cities between 1979 and 1982. One drawing from this series was used as the album cover to Glenn Branca’s album The Ascension. As a consequence, in his 30s, Longo was among the most widely publicized, exhibited and collected artists of the 1980s along with the likes of Cindy Sherman and David Salle. However, several critics have commented that Longo had lost his way as a visual artist by the mid-’80s.

Working on themes of power and authority, Longo produced a series of blackened American flags (“Black Flags” 1989–91) as well as oversized hand guns (Bodyhammers 1993–95). From 1995 to 1996 he worked on his Magellan project, 366 drawings (one per day) that formed an archive of the artist’s life and surrounding cultural images. “Magellan” was followed by 2002’s Freud Drawings, which reinterpreted Edmund Engelman’s famous documentary images of Sigmund Freud’s flat, moments before his flight from the Nazis. In 2002 and 2004 he presented Monsters, Bernini-esque renderings of massive breaking waves and The Sickness of Reason, baroque renderings of atomic bomb blasts. Monsters was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

To create works such as Barbara and Ralph, Longo projects photographs of his subjects onto paper and traces the figures in graphite, removing all details of the background. After he records the basic contours, his long-time illustrator, Diane Shea, works on the figure for about a week, filling in the details. Next, Longo goes back into the drawing, using graphite and charcoal to provide “all the cosmetic work”. Longo continues to work on the drawing, making numerous adjustments until it is completed about a week later.

In 2013, Longo’s artwork was featured in an article in the men’s magazine, Man of the World along with an article discussing his life and career.

In March 2013, The Lexander Magazine reviewed Longo’s 1982-83 diptych entitled Pressure, highlighting it as the “penultimate visual anthem of the era,” expanding upon Neal Benezra’s 1988 analysis of the work as having been “the most representative work of art of the 1980s.”

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John Hoyland

John Hoyland RA (12 October 1934 – 31 July 2011) was a London-based British artist. He was one of the country’s leading abstract painters.

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David Shrigley

David John Shrigley OBE is a British visual artist. He lived and worked in Glasgow, Scotland for 27 years before moving to Brighton, England in 2015.

As well as authoring several books, he directed the video for Blur’s “Good Song” and also for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s “Agnes, Queen of Sorrow”. In 2005 he designed a London Underground leaflet cover. Since 2005, he has contributed a cartoon for The Guardian‘s Weekend magazine every Saturday. Other projects have included the album Worried Noodles (Tom Lab, 2007) where musicians interpret his writings as lyrics, including collaborations by David Byrne, Hot Chip, and Franz Ferdinand.

Shrigley co-directed a short film with director Chris Shepherd called Who I Am And What I Want (2005), based on Shrigley’s book of the same title, with Kevin Eldon voicing its main character, Pete. Shrigley also produced a series of drawings and t-shirt designs for the 2006 Triptych festival, a Scottish music festival lasting for three to four days in three cities. He also designed twelve different covers for Deerhoof’s 2007 record, Friend Opportunity. In the same year he also designed the title sequence for the film Hallam Foe, as well as the drawings and the writing in Hallam’s on-screen diaries.

Shrigley’s mascot for Scottish football team Partick Thistle, “Kingsley” in George Square, Glasgow

In 2014, Jonathan Jones reviewed Shrigley’s work Brass Tooth, writing, “David Shrigley must have had a big, toothy grin when he created multiple editions of his sculpture Brass Tooth, which goes on sale for £1,200 a pop at the London art fair this week. It is a cast of a single tooth – including the roots – and is typical of Shrigley’s sly, subversive, humorous art in how it brings a modern art cliche crashing down to Earth”.

In 2015, he designed “Kingsley”, a mascot for Scottish football team Partick Thistle as part of a sponsorship deal. The mascot’s design was the object of some amusement, with Scottish BuzzFeed reporter Jamie Ross describing it as “based on every nightmare I had as a child.”

Shrigley also undertook a residency at Auckland’s Two Rooms in 2015, during which he painted for the first time since his graduation from The Glasgow School of Art in 1991. He said that the residency presented ‘an opportunity to explore a different medium and explore what you can do with “that” versus what you do with “this”.’

Shrigley’s sculpture Really Good was installed on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth plinth in September 2016 until March 2018. The bronze cast of a fist with an out-of-proportion thumbs-up was the winning commission for the Fourth Plinth Project, which has been inviting artists since 1999 to make a proposal for the empty plinth, originally intended to hold an equestrian statue of William IV that was never made. “I made a drawing of an elongated thumb that said everything is good and I wrote some text that sounded like some sort of weird political satire: If we make this sculpture, we can make the world a better place through some kind of self–fulfilling prophecy.”[

In 2019, he designed the yellow and red card of the AS Velasca.[

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Richard Smith

Richard Smith, CBE (27 October 1931 – 15 April 2016) was an English painter and printmaker. He produced work in a range of styles, but was often associated with colour field painting.

Smith’s early work drew on packaging and advertising, which led to his being associated by some critics to the Pop Art movement. Smith stated that his work was “often physically related to hoardings or cinema screens which never present objects actual size; you could drown in a glass of beer, live in a semi-detached cigarette packet”. However, his concerns were largely formal. His works from this period, such as Panatella (1961) can be seen as abstract works whose scale, handling of paint and use of colour show the influence of American colour field painters such as Mark Rothko and Sam Francis, and he tried to integrate their expressive painterly concerns with an exploration of the experience of mass culture. As an attempt to make a connection between ‘high’ art and popular culture Smith’s work differs from the work of his British Pop contemporaries, who were more concerned with iconography. Smith stated that “My interest is not so much in the message as in the method”

In 1963 Smith progressed to an examination of the two-dimensional nature of painting. In Vista he added a shaped extension to the rectangular canvas, and in works such as Piano and Giftwrap progressed to extending the surface of the painting out into three-dimensional space. Despite the three-dimensional element of these works, Smith insisted on their identity as paintings: saying “Since I have always retained a wall, there is no question of a multifaceted sculptural object”  Smith never produced any free standing sculptures, preferring to challenge the conventions of painting by working in an area between painting and sculpture.

In 1972 he exhibited the first of what are called the “kite paintings”, in which rather than using a conventional stretcher the canvas is tensioned by cords and structures of aluminium tubing, which become an element in the composition of the works. This both reduced the strength of the edge of the canvas while at the same time drawing attention to its contour. Smith’s new found interest in the edge of a picture is shown by the concentration of incident there in works such as 3 square 2.

The concerns of these works also appear in his small scale work of the time, where the paper was cut and folded, and often include elements fastened to the work by paperclips or pieces of knotted string.

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Piero Dorazio

Dorazio was born in Rome. His father was a civil servant, while his mother was interested in history and art. Dorazio attended Julius Caesar Lyceum (high school) in Rome. The family fled to their homeland province of Abruzzo in 1943. After the war, Dorazio worked briefly as a translator for the British Army and then studied architecture at the University of Rome.

He was influenced by futurists such as Gino Severini, Antonio Corpora, Enrico Prampolini, and Giacomo Balla, attracting him to painting. An aversion to their right-wing views pushed him to align instead with left-leaning artists like Renato Guttuso. Along with Pietro Consagra, Achille Perilli, and Giulio Turcato, he helped formulate a manifesto and establish a group of abstract artists in 1947 called Forma I. Although imbued with socialist leanings, the group did not follow the realist social commentary furthered by Guttuso but proposed to reclaim abstraction from Futurism. In 1947 Dorazio won a prize and a stipend from the French government to study at the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris.

Dorazio, along with artists Mino Perilli and Guerrini, helped found L’Age d’Or in 1950. It was a bookstore/gallery space dedicated to abstract art. In 1952, he promoted the foundation Origin with Alberto Burri, Ettore Colla and others, and edited the magazine Arti Visive. As a representative of Italy, in 1953 he traveled for the first time to the United States to participate in the International Summer Seminar at Harvard University. That fall, he moved to New York City and stayed through 1954. In October 1953, Dorazio had his first solo exhibition at George Wittenborn’s One-Wall Gallery.

He published La Fantasia Dell-Arte Nella Vita Moderna” in 1955, a review of modern art in Italy. Regarding this book, reviewer Christopher Masters states that Dorazio advanced his belief, perhaps with a surfeit of optimism, that “abstract art could change the world… That just as science and technology were destroying the barriers between different cultures, so the new ‘universal style’ would lead to a ‘universal civilisation’.”

He was invited to teach at the Graduate School of Fine Arts program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in 1959. He taught painting there for one semester each year from 1960 to 1969, splitting his time between the United States and Italy. In 1970 he returned to live and work full-time in Rome. In 1974 he moved his studio from Rome to Umbria, near Todi. Peter Iden, founding director of the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt from 1978-1987, acquired three works by Dorazio from 1981 to 1983 (Oracolo, 1959; Blue Hearttrap, 1961; Stridente, 1982-83) for the museum collection. These were part of the museum exhibitions in Frankfurt in 1985 and Milan in 1987. In the 1990s, the works were temporarily loaned to the European Central Bank.[9] Dorazio continued to work and exhibit until 2004.

Described as an “outspoken, independent character” who was the “opposite of politically correct”, Dorazio’s use of materials and colors stayed constant over time. He is mostly known for paintings with thick bands of bright color and crosshatched grids. While abstract, his paintings do not neglect detail or complexity. His style is in line with what Clement Greenberg later described as “Post-painterly abstraction”.

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Giulio Turcato

Giulio Turcato was born in Mantua. He attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia in the early 1930s before moving to Milan and finding work in the firm of the architect Giovanni Muzio in 1937. A chronic pulmonary illness forced him to frequent stays in sanatoriums. Having taken up painting, he found inspiration in the Cubist art of Pablo Picasso, eventually developing an abstraction with expressionist overtones. He participated to the 23rd Venice Biennale in 1942. A few months later he moved to Rome and joined the Italian resistance movement.

At the end of the War, Turcato reprised his artistic activities. He was one of the signatories of the manifesto of the Nuova Secessione Artistica Italiana in 1946, and a founding member of the Marxist-leaning, abstract art group Forma 1 in 1947, together with Ugo Attardi, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Achille Perilli and Antonio Sanfilippo. In 1948, he helped founding the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti. The decision of the Venice Biennale to dedicate a room exclusively to his work at the 29th edition in 1958 contributed to his international standing. In 1959 Turcato was invited to Documenta II. In 1961 he joined the Continuità group.

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Mohammad Ali Talpur

Mohammad Ali Talpur is a well known contemporary Pakistani artist. He is considered as the only minimalist artist in Pakistan because of his linear drawings. He is teaching at National College of Arts and works at his studio in Lahore.

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Auguste Rodin

François Auguste René Rodin was a French sculptor generally considered the founder of modern sculpture. He was schooled traditionally and took a craftsman-like approach to his work. Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, and deeply pocketed surface in clay.

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Katrin Fridriks

Drawing influences from contemporary pop art, graffiti, and the calligraphic arts, Katrin Fridriks paints hyperkinetic abstract compositions filled with swirls of vibrant color, as well as large-scale installations that address environmental and political issues such as genetic research and the exhaustion of natural resources. Fridriks has painted monochromatic works—black on white, and white on black—as well as color-rich compositions whose tangles of drips and brushstrokes have drawn comparisons with the paintings of Jackson Pollock. She has also created work for commercial brands including Land Rover and Ralph Lauren.

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Marieta Chirulescu

Marieta Chirulescu’s work is the result of an ongoing preoccupation with the aesthetic and conceptual contingencies of painting. The abstractions for which she is best known reference the formalism of Color Field painting, superimposed with the array of digital printing methods available to the public today. Drawing from an extensive archive of imagery, Chirulescu uses scans, screen shots and the technical irregularities that occur throughout digital processes to alter personal photographs as well as those taken by her father during the Romanian dictatorship.

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Leo Gabin

Artist collective Leo Gabin (consisting of Lieven Deconinck, Gaëtan Begerem, and Robin De Vooght) redefines the tradition of found-object art by harvesting and recycling digital content into new configurations. Working across video, digital media, drawing, print, painting, and sculpture, they fashion their work directly from the internet’s unending proliferation of social networking content and images of celebrities, sex, and violence, often physically incorporating printed or downloaded content into their practice. The group are perhaps best known for their satirical video montages and frenzied, calligraphic, partially collaged abstract paintings, the latter revealing the influence of street art.

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Bernard Aubertin

Bernard Aubertin was a French artist born in 1934 in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France. He died in August 2015 in Reutlingen, Germany. He met Yves Klein in 1957 and joined the Zero movement during the 1960-1961 period. One of his text was published in the Zero magazine, vol 3. July 1961.

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Sam Moyer

All of Sam Moyer’s multimedia projects have a common quality of borrowing images or materials from everyday life, and manipulating them or reproducing them into abstraction. With a background in photography, Moyer makes works that are monochromatic, modular, and rooted in geometry, with a focus on texture, pattern, and tactility. For example, her “Worry Rug” series (2009) is made from cheaply purchased Ikea rugs that she then dyed and picked apart, while another series of drawings uses pocket-sized book covers as their basis. Moyer has also become well known for using dyed and crumpled stretches of fabric that she mounts onto wood panels by ironing. These pieces frequently have subtle patterns created using bleach and ink.

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Katja Novitskova

Katja Novitskova (born 1984 in Tallinn, Estonia) is an Estonian installation artist. She lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin. Her work focuses on issues of technology, evolutionary processes, digital imagery and corporate aesthetics. Novitskova is interested in investigating how, “media actively redefines the world and culture, and everything” related to art, nature and commerce.

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Andrew Birk

Andrew Birk’s practice loops broadly from the traditional two-dimensional surface to writing, sound, fashion, photography, and digital media, and then back to painting; harnessing the noise by which today’s dissolving parameters sing. Often involving a sensory experience, Birk’s work articulates complex scenarios and stimuli through the course of vigorous research. 

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Svetlana Bogatcheva

Svetlana Bogatcheva (1986) is a contemporary artist based in Vaasa, Finland. Her works have been shown at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in London (2015), exhibited in the U.K. and Finland, and reside in collections in Scandinavia, UK, Brazil, Kuwait, Canada and the USA. She employs sustainable natural, post-industrial and post-consumer materials like textile, rubber, plastic, stone, bitumen, earth and ash. Her conceptually based practise merges the worlds of sculpture and painting, working in a dynamic manner that is defined by her impeccable skills in forming materials into works that invite deep contemplation and presence.

The Rebirth series is one of Svetlana’s most iconic works, boldly engaging the spectator’s attention in interpreting the rich formations in texture and colour. The form is dictated by the process and expresses the journey taken by the post-consumer materials. Fused with the artist’s desire to create works that capture light from multi-faceted perspectives, the intricate sculptural forms exude the energy, possibility, and positivity of the start of new life. The Rebirth sculptures are beacons of creativity and innovation that continually inspire and generate new forms in an ongoing, dynamic interplay as the spectator moves around them.

Equally engaging, Svetlana’s mesmerizing canvas works create conceptual landscapes where colour, form and tactility co-exist in inspired harmony. The poetic structures and shapes are enigmatically welcoming, inviting the audience to interpret the works in their own time and pace. This democratic quality defines Svetlana’s practise as a whole: a practise that places her audience in the driver’s seat, allowing each viewer to determine the narrative and how the work is to be viewed and, ultimately, perceived. Her works invite themselves into our lives in a gentle yet impactful way, creating both space and meaning as they convey a sense of breathing that is almost audible, via her deft and delicate use of materials. The overall composition of each canvas orchestrates a delightful interplay between form and structure in equal parts, where colour becomes a protagonist in the eye of the beholder.

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Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Elisabeth Rist is a Swiss visual artist best known for creating experimental video art and installation art. Her work is often described as surreal, intimate, abstract art, having a preoccupation with the female body. Her artwork is often categorized as feminist art.

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David Kim Whittaker

Celebrated British artist David Kim Whittaker is self-taught, born in Cornwall in 1964 and still through fidelity to his own environment living and working in the area. Whittaker’s work achieved breakthrough status with his interpretation of the human head and its metaphysical mental core. These works often juggle states of inner and outer calm and conflict – offering a glimpse of strength and fragility, the conscious and the subconscious, the masculine and the feminine. Into this realm Whittaker has increasingly brought historical questions of identity, abstraction and juxtaposition. Whittaker has achieved international critical recognition and has exhibited nationally and internationally, a reception that has also been mirrored commercially. Self Portrait Four, a 2011 Oil, acrylic on canvas sold for £81,250 at Phillips in March 2018. Furthermore, “Boys Ascends”, 2013 a work in mixed media sold for £46,761 in December 2018 at Christie’s in Paris.

In an essay for an exhibition at Fondazione Mudima, the curator and writer Joseph Clarke observes that the differing techniques of Whittaker’s practice ‘denote conflict but also manifest a place where fusion and harmony exist.’ Inside this vortex, Whittaker creates a strange harmony, a world forged from his own imagination and memory but recognisable instantly to the viewer, too; unsettling, but comprehensible. The series exhibited here comes from the beginning of this important period in the artist’s development. Executed in 2007-08, these paintings are original works in series of 20 unique variants. Here we see Whittaker’s fine sense of abstract composition with each work of oil and graphite on paper laid on card, evoking powerful and different emotional and receptive states.

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Alex Katz

Alex Katz (born July 24, 1927), is an American figurative artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and prints.

Katz’s paintings are divided almost equally into the genres of portraiture and landscape. Since the 1960s he has painted views of New York (especially his immediate surroundings in Soho), the landscapes of Maine, where he spends several months every year, as well as portraits of family members, artists, writers and New York society protagonists. His paintings are defined by their flatness of colour and form, their economy of line, and their cool but seductive emotional detachment. A key source of inspiration is the woodcuts produced by Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro.

In the early 1960s, influenced by films, television, and billboard advertising, Katz began painting large-scale paintings, often with dramatically cropped faces. Ada Katz, whom he married in 1958, has been the subject of over 250 portraits throughout his career. To make one of his large works, Katz paints a small oil sketch of a subject on a masonite board; the sitting might take an hour and a half. He then makes a small, detailed drawing in pencil or charcoal, with the subject returning, perhaps, for the artist to make corrections. Katz next blows up the drawing into a “cartoon,” sometimes using an overhead projector, and transfers it to an enormous canvas via “pouncing”—a technique used by Renaissance artists, involving powdered pigment pushed through tiny perforations pricked into the cartoon to recreate the composition on the surface to be painted. Katz pre-mixes all his colors and gets his brushes ready. Then he dives in and paints the canvas—12 feet wide by 7 feet high or even larger—in a session of six or seven hours.

Beginning in the late 1950s, Katz developed a technique of painting on cut panels, first of wood, then aluminum, calling them “cutouts”. These works would occupy space like sculptures, but their physicality is compressed into planes, as with paintings. In later works, the cutouts are attached to wide, U-shaped aluminum stands, with a flickering, cinematic presence enhanced by warm spotlights. Most are close-ups, showing either front-and-back views of the same figure’s head or figures who regard each other from opposite edges of the stand.

After 1964, Katz increasingly portrayed groups of figures. He would continue painting these complex groups into the 1970s, portraying the social world of painters, poets, critics, and other colleagues that surrounded him. He began designing sets and costumes for choreographer Paul Taylor in the early 1960s, and he has painted many images of dancers throughout the years. One Flight Up (1968) consists of more than 30 portraits of some of the leading lights of New York’s intelligentsia during the late 1960s, such as the poet John Ashbery, the art critic Irving Sandler and the curator Henry Geldzahler, who championed Andy Warhol. Each portrait is painted using oils on both sides of a sliver of aluminium that has then been cut into the shape of the subject’s head and shoulders. The silhouettes are arranged predominantly in four long rows on a plain metal table.

After his Whitney exhibition in 1974, Katz focused on landscapes stating “I wanted to make an environmental landscape, where you were IN it.” In the late 1980s, Katz took on a new subject in his work: fashion models in designer clothing, including Kate Moss and Christy Turlington. “I’ve always been interested in fashion because it’s ephemeral,” he said.

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Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt first garnered the art world’s attention with her portraits of fashion models, exploring hyperreal fashion photography and mainstream notions of beauty. More recently, she has focused her energies on a series of “Pattern Paintings”—large-scale works in tropical, sherbert hues depicting banal consumer goods, arranged in the style of jazz patterns. Fluid and hurried, Bernhardt’s canvases are seemingly provisional, radiating energy so as to express the pleasure of art-making. First exploring patterns in the context of imported rugs, Bernhardt’s more recent works stem from an interest in Dutch wax printing and the all-over patterning of African textiles. Her subjects are selected and grouped according to underlying emotional associations—whether hamburgers, french fries, and basketballs; or coffee, cigarettes, and pizza—and broken down into elemental details, pure forms, and swaths of color to build simpler, yet expressive, arrangements.

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Matt Mullican

Using his subconscious as material, Matt Mullican often creates his artworks before an audience while under hypnosis, resulting in a unique hybrid of performance art and drawing. Part schematic, part cosmological chart, Mullican’s ordered, symmetrical works belie an enormously ambitious artistic aim, to contain and make sense of the universe. Characterized by rough geometric patterns and the artist’s elongated, looping script, Mullican’s spontaneous diagrams and writings on walls and canvas offer free access to the artist’s psyche.

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Joe Bradley

Joe Bradley is an artist based in New York City. Bradley was born in Kittery, Maine. He makes casualist paintings resembling human figures from assembled canvases which reference Color Field painting and Minimalism.

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Peter Sutherland

Colorado-raised and NYC-based, Peter Sutherland employs techniques of traditional documentary photography to capture the hidden beauty of ordinary objects and everyday situations. His work can be found in the pages of Vice, The New Order, Dazed & Confused, ANP Quarterly, and Monster Children, and for clients like Supreme, Converse, Nike, Adidas, Nordstrom, Manhattan Portage, The North Face, Vans, Stussy, Filson, Thule, Lacoste, Palladium, P.A.M., and No.6. Sutherland’s favorite director is Werner Herzog, and his own film work has been influenced by both Herzog and Albert & David Maysles’ Gimme Shelter. In addition to Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project (Zeitgeist Films), Peter directed Pedal (powerHouse Books DVD). He’s published several monographs to critical acclaim and exhibited works at Art Basel Miami and in galleries such as White Cube (London), V1 (Copenhagen), Someday Gallery (Melbourne), ATM and Mountain Fold Galleries (New York), and Gallery Target (Tokyo). When Sutherland is not taking pictures or making films he enjoys playing soccer and shredding pow.

Works

Grear Patterson

Grear Patterson works with arrangements of custom made image carriers, works in which he establishes connections with art history as well as with his own specific living environment. He became known for his ‘Duck Test’-series, canvasses organized to resemble smileys, their trendy lightness connoting a carefree attitude to life, while simultaneously referring to the icons of digital communication. His first sunsets were inspired by Hollywood movies, the sun’s immersion in the horizon mostly taking place within a 16:9 or 4:3 format. These works pick up on the form of the setting sun through the shape of the composition. The combination of the different colors on the raw canvas evokes spatial depth and conjures up sporadic associations with rainbows or figments of imagination.

Works

Don Brown

Don Brown is a sculptor best known for his dedication to varied depictions of his wife, Yoko. Since 1999, Brown has been producing three-quarter or half-scale portraits of Yoko using a classical tradition of representational sculpture, but without heroism or idealization. The figure, almost always with downcast or closed eyes, appears in various states of dress—sometimes obscured entirely in a sheet. Brown is perhaps most celebrated for his technical virtuosity, demonstrated by the freestanding balance and pristinely smooth surfaces in both bronze and acrylic works, and his attention to minute detail. Brown also has explored the tradition of still lifes in his large-scale and sensuous renderings of fruit and eggs. More recently, he has also begun to work with drawing in pastel, which also feature Yoko as its sole subject.

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Katharina Grosse

Katharina Grosse is a German artist. As an artist, Grosse’s work employs a use of architecture, sculpture and painting. She is known for her large-scale, site-related installations to create immersive visual experiences

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Isaac Brest

Isaac Brest, who received his professional training in film, is best known for works in photography and installation. He is involved in The Still House Group artist organization, which he founded with Alex Perweiler in 2007 in order to foster “creative sustainability” for future generations of artists seeking non-traditional career progressions. Brest’s own conceptually based works present wry commentary on contemporary art practice by incorporating elements of architecture and film; he also works frequently with industrial materials like sheet rock, sanding tools, Plexiglas, and plywood.

Works

Tamuna Sirbiladze

Sirbiladze was born in Tbilisi in Georgia. She studied art at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (1989–1994) in Georgia and later the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (1997–2003) and Slade School of Fine Art, London, 2003. She was the widow of fellow artist Franz West (1947–2012) and collaborated with West on a number of projects.

Sirbiladze’s background influenced her approach to painting: “Sirbiladze was exposed to art mostly through books‍—‌her home country had few museums. She knew early on that she wanted to be an artist, however, and cited the colors of the art she came across as the reason she ended up painting.” She told Forbes in a 2015 interview, “Searching for light and color is my main engagement”.

Sirbiladze made paintings known for their speed, and she sometimes incorporated text into her work. Her characteristic style merged the figurative and the gestural. Her paintings have been described as “highly expressive” with splashes of color “forming abstracted figures and patterns.” An Art in America review, a year before her death at age 45, remarks on the “energetic content” of her work, saying “Sirbiladze’s line is spare; abundant, creamy negative space supports the gentle diagonal flow of marks” anchored by unexpected forms. Critic Alex Greenberger said, “Sirbiladze’s paintings played with the division between figuration and abstraction, often melding the two in ambiguous images. Genitalia and bodies can be glanced in some, while in others, objects like jugs and fruits seem to materialize. Sirbiladze’s paintings recall the work of Henri Matisse and the Impressionists in their light, expressive brushwork.”

Hugh Scott Douglas

Hugh Scott-Douglas was born in 1988, in Cambridge, England, Scott-Douglas moved to Edmonton, Canada, with his family as a young child, and later grew up in Ottawa. In his late teens, he studied briefly in the pre-college program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before completing his BFA in sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2010. He now lives and works in Brooklyn.

One of his Galleries puts it very well: Scott-Douglas’ work “situates itself at the confluence of a number of critical, socio-political, economic and aesthetic observations and investigations. Interrogating tensions between analogue and digital modes of production, he makes use of a wide range of techniques and media, from laser cutting, inkjet printing and photography, to numerical data and satellite mapping software. Across his practice, Scott-Douglas investigates the possibilities and limitations of the production of the photographic image at a turning point in the medium’s history, as it makes the conversion from modes of mechanical reproduction towards digital technologies. While formally elements of Scott-Douglas’ visual language resonate with recent developments in painting – particularly the process-orientated vocabulary of conceptual abstraction – his use of photographic media, from the old-fashioned cyanotype process favoured in his early career, to a juxtaposition of digital and print formats, reveals the close relationship his work shares with both the legacy and future of photography.”

Scott -Douglas has held solo exhibitions at Casey Kaplan in New York, Gallery Baton in Seoul and Blum and Poe in Tokyo and Los Angeles and Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco). In addition he has participated in group shows at the Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum (Boston), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), and most recently at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. His work is also featured in several public collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art. He is among the most closely watched artists to emerge in recent years.

Jack Greer

Jack Greer is an aspiring American artist born in 1987, known for his work in a range of mediums, including drawing, photography, sculpture, and apparel design. The artist combines wall-mounted collages, sculpture, and installations with materials such as ink, dirt, blood, thread, and paint.

Works

Chris Succo

German born artist Chris Succo (1979) attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he was awarded Meisterschüler by Prof. Georg Herold in 2009, and the Royal College of Art, graduating from the latter in 2012. He has exhibited internationally and continuously since his graduation and is in many important international collections. He is one of the foremost contemporary continental painters working in the abstract/minimalist tradition.

Chris Succo’s crisp, cool abstraction is so wide-ranging that, as author Christopher Schreck has noted, a single exhibition could look like a group show. Yet whether the German artist is working in lacquered aluminum and oil on canvas or creating sculpture with steel piping, mesh, or boxing equipment, his work shares certain commonalities: a quest to find individuality within the repetition of forms and techniques, elements of appropriation (including the titles of his series), and a minimalist palette largely comprised of matte black and white. Some of the brighter works in his oeuvre, the “Flag Pieces” consist of three diagonal bands of color and texture created by applying lacquer to black-and-white photographs. In these, Succo divides the canvas in a style reminiscent of Hard-Edged painting, as well as Succo’s own “Nu Era” series of black-and-white lacquered aluminum works.

Works

Tobias Madison

Tobias Madison is a Swiss artist, known for his multidisciplinary conceptual art, moving image work, and performance art. His work frequently uses video, photography, text and installation to probe the economy of interpersonal relations in mediated realities. Madison lives and works in New York City.

Works

Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore is an American photographer known for his images of banal scenes and objects in the United States, and for his pioneering use of color in art photography. His books include Uncommon Places and American Surfaces, photographs that he took on cross-country road trips in the 1970s.

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Gillian Ayres

Gillian Ayres OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) was one of the most significant abstract painters to emerge in London during the postwar period. A disciple and vanguard of the taschist style, a non-geometric abstract style that developed in postwar Europe, Ayres was inspired by abstract expressionist art in the United States and painted in a lyrical, gestural style that stood in contrast to the hard-edge forms of her contemporaries. Ayres’s career attests to her experimental spirit, as she switched from oil to acrylic paints for much of the 1960s and early 1970s—creating textured surfaces—only to later return to oil. In recent years, the artist has experimented with woodcuts, creating ebullient works evocative of Henri Matisse. Never didactic, her oeuvre illustrates an artist constantly experimenting with the possibilities of paint. “My paintings are about painting, about shape and color, not telling stories,” Ayres has said.

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Asger Jorn

Danish artist and author Asger Jorn, along with Guy Debord, played a pivotal role in the early development of the revolutionary movement Situationist International. Jorn began his artistic career as a painter in Paris, and he became radicalized after joining the communist resistance movement during the Second World War. He played an integral part in launching a number of movements that combined the tenets of Marxism with artistic expression, including COBRA, the International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, and later, after leaving Debord’s group, a breakaway Scandinavian movement called Second Situationist International. Jorn was incredibly prolific as an artist across all mediums, creating painting, sculpture, ceramics, and collage. In 1964 he was awarded, but turned down, the Guggenheim Award.

Works

Ai WeiWei

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. Ai grew up in the far north-west of China, where he lived under harsh conditions due to his father’s exile. As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights.

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