Artist to Watch

9 Artists to Watch in August

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9 Artists to Watch in August
Jamie Warren

August may be the month when most art-world people go on vacation, and galleries get to close their doors until the start of the art-season in September, but here's the thing: for artists, there is no such thing as taking "time off." No matter what time of year, there will alway be dedicated artists whittling away in their studios who are worth paying attention to. So, here are nine artists to keep on your radar while you sip margaritas pool-side.

 

HEATHER DEWEY-HAGBORG & CHELSEA MANNING
Fridman Gallery, New York
August 2 - September 5

 

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that Chelsea Manning is a transgendered former US soldier who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage after disclosing sensitive information to Wikileaks (she's since been released.) But did you also know that she is an artist? “Prisons try very hard to make us inhuman and unreal by denying our image, and thus our existence, to the rest of the world," says Manning in the press release for her collaborative exhibition with artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg. "Imagery has become a kind of proof of existence." While in prison, Manning sent her DNA (extracted from cheek swabs and hair strands) to Dewey-Hagborg, who used it to create 30 potential portraits of Manning, reconstructing what she could look like according to her DNA. The resulting faces—on view at Fridman Gallery in the form of 3D-printed portraits—vary drastically from one to the next, refuting the "outmoded notions of biologically inscribed identity and [acting as] a testament to the commonality of all, a commonality that is clearly present even at the cellular level." —Loney Abrams

 

FRED FOREST
Centre Pompidou, Paris
July 12 - August 28


In 1990, the legendary French institution Centre Pompidou acquired Hans Haacke’s seminal piece, Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, a Real-Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971. Fred Forest, a French conceptual artist, wrote to the museum director innocently asking how much the museum paid for the piece. After the museum rejected his request, Forest pursued a costly and time-consuming legal battle with the Pompidou over the disclosure of the price (partly out of determination, and partly as a performance piece). In a strange twist, now that the legal battle has wrapped up, the museum is hosting a retrospective of this enfant terrible, which runs until the end of the summer. Forest’s institutional critique hasn’t wavered in his over-fifty-year career, spreading into contemporary and traditional forms of media and communication. He staged numerous interventions into the pages of Le Monde, on the French television station Antenne 2, and later into the virtual realms of the popular video game Second Life. Forest’s retrospective at the Pompidou is long overdue and promises to be a real treat; we're hoping it will make its way stateside soon. —Robert Grand

 

 

ALEX ITO
Hotel Art Pavilion, New York
August 12 - September 16


Heavily influenced by science fiction dystopias, Alex Ito's multi-media practice often reflects on the impossibilities of intimacy within our capitalist, consumer culture. Ito (no relation to Parker Ito) describes the coldness of his often pre-fabricated objects and the struggle to "put some sort of life into materials that are absent of empathy," according to a 2015 interview with LVL3. "Through the approach of intimacy as artifice, the work can reveal a subtle thread of violence within commercially induced seduction." For his upcoming two-person show "(O), The Stranger" with artist Amna Asghar at Hotel Art Pavilion, Ito contemplates "the body/object's ability to retain and distort legacies of violence and trauma embedded in spaces we inhabit" in an installation that reflects on his own family's history with Japanese internment. Up next, the young artist has a solo booth at EXPO Chicago with Los Angeles's AALA gallery.  —Shannon Lee

 

SARAH CHARLESWORTH
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles
August 20, 2017 – February 4, 2018


If you missed "Sarah Charlesworth: Doubleworld" at the New Museum in 2015, now's your chance to see it on the West Coast, opening at LACMA on August 20th. The late conceptual photographer was a member of what critic Douglass Crimp called the "Pictures Generation"—a group of artists in the late '70s who rejected the predominant values of object-based Minimalism in favor for a return to imagery, or more specifically, commercial imagery related to advertisements and film/television. Charlesworth is perhaps one of the lesser-known names of the bunch that includes the likes of Cindy ShermanSherrie LevineRobert Longo, and Jack Goldstein—but her work is no less significant. Charlesworth's signature pictorial approach projected theory-heavy concepts using sparse compositions by isolating images or objects—a statue, a tiger, a bowl—against colorful monochrome backgrounds for analysis, like forensic evidence. —Loney Abrams

 

JAIMIE WARREN
The Hole, New York
July 26 - September 3


Jaimie Warren has been called the “Cindy Sherman of the Midwest,” and the comparison is apt—if we focus on Sherman’s darker works (see "The Dark Side of Cindy Sherman"). Like those Sherman photos, Warren’s theatrical performances are grotesque yet campy, recalling influences from B-grade horror movies to DIY haunted houses. For One Sweet Day on view at The Hole, Warren presents video documentation of four previous performances alongside the set for a fifth performance that will take place during the exhibition. The new work presents the artist and her resourceful crew acting out a Punky Brewster storyline inside a setting inspired by Italian Renaissance painter Fra Angelico. If you’re unfamiliar with Warren’s work, One Fine Day offers a perfect opportunity to play catch-up and find out what all the commotion is about. —Robert Grand

 

SARAH LUCAS
Legion of Honor, San Francisco
July 15 - Sept 17
 


In a wonderfully bold curatorial move, San Francisco's Legion of Honor challenges its own collection of traditional, European art by giving it a much-needed jolt of contemporary criticism. "Sarah Lucas: Good Muse" displays the feminist sculptor's works in conversation with —and literally on top of—the museum's permanent collection of Rodin. Lucas's fleshy, stuffed, sausage-y and weirdly sexual effigies hang from Rodin's brass nudes, subverting their classical authority with ambiguous, charged power. The juxtaposition creates a much more egalitarian view of human sensuality, disrupting the canon of the male gaze in a smart, funny, and critically engaging show. Lucas first emerged on the scene in the 1990s as part of the Young British Artists (YBA), and has since been the subject of a BBC documentary, and various exhibitions at places like the Tate (Liverpool, Britain, and Modern). —Shannon Lee

 

ALICE QUARESMA
A.I.R., Brooklyn
August 3 - 20


The colorful work of Alice Quaresma is a favorite among our Artspace collectors, and it's not too hard to see why. The Brazilian-born artist works with photography and painting to make mixed-media artworks that take cues from John Baldessari's renowned dot works by painting circles and geometric lines over black-and-white photographs of landscapes. When Artspace partnered with Samsung to provide art on-demand for their newest television, 'The Frame'—which, when not in use, uses 'Art Mode' to display artwork—we chose Quaresma as a contributing artist. She currently has work in a group show at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn called Another Gesture/ Um Outro Gesto/Eine weitere Geste/ , which "moves away from the dominant male legacy of abstract expressionism, in which gesture was used to champion the uniqueness of painting as a medium." —Loney Abrams

 

 

MEGAN MARRIN
David Lewis, New York
June 28 - August 20 

 


Megan Marrin’s solo show at David Lewis is her first ever, following a string of successful collaborative endeavors at Svetlana (New York), Dold Projects (Germany), and Wields Contemporary Art Center (Belgium). For this show, Marrin takes the ever-elusive “Corpse Flower” as her point of departure—the plant that’s known for smelling like a rotting carcass during its brisk bloom. Painting hyperrealistic depictions from photos taken around the country, Marrin’s works are remarkable not only in detail but in scale. Standing eight feet tall and flush with the wall, these paintings give you the feeling that you’re in a garden and not a gallery—but, thankfully, minus the noxious smell. –Robert Grand

 

 
 
 
Billboard 8171, London Bridge
August 4 - 17
 


Billboard 8171 is a public arts initiative produced by Annin Arts that gives artists the unique opportunity to work on a billboard overlooking the heavily trafficked London Bridge. Having previously worked with artists such as Mickalene Thomas, Tauba Auerbach and Korakrit Arunanondchai, Billboard 8171 unveiled their latest collaboration with the conceptual, "post-black" artist Rashid Johnson on August 4th. Having had two solo shows at Hauser & Wirth, and solo exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas City), McNay Art Museum (San Antonio), and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) just since 2015, we can't really say that this is a rare opportunity to see the artist's work, but we are excited to see Johnson work in a new medium and context. The billboard will only be up until the 17th (advertising space is expensive!) so act fast if you want to see Johnson's art do its thing amidst the hustle and bustle of London commuters.  –Shannon Lee

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