Artist to Watch

10 Artists to Watch This February

10 Artists to Watch This February
The artist Wael Shawky

CHARLES ATLAS
Luhring Augustine, February 7 - March 14

A giant in the history of video art, Charles Atlas has been steadily pushing the boundaries of his medium since the early 1970s with his varied and highly influential films and productions, including especially his pioneering work in media-dance or “dance for camera” with renowned choreographer Merce Cunningham. His show The Waning of Justice, opening this month at Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea location, will feature all new works derived from the artist’s recent stint at the Rauschenberg Residency and synched to create what the gallery describes as “one dynamic visual experience.”

NICK MAUSS
303 Gallery, February 28 - April 11

It’s tough to nail down Nick Mauss: the 35-year-old New Yorker’s strange, usually abstract works have consistently experimented with process and materials throughout his career, culminating perhaps in 1NVERS1ONS, the ballet performance he staged last year at Frieze Projects in London. His new show at 303 Gallery is but the latest addition to his slew of exhibitons over the last several years; expect the innovation and subliminal depth that has characterized his work thus far to be on full view.

WAEL SHAWKY
MoMA PS1, January 31 - August 31

Egyptian artist Wael Shawky has dedicated the last half decade to one massive project, his three-part video epic Cabaret Crusades. Using both antique and newly designed marionettes as actors, the trilogy retells the story of the Crusades from a non-Western perspective, with a mixture of historical fact and a puppeteer’s penchant for song and dance. The final installment CABARET CRUSADES: THE SECRETS of KARBALA premiered January 31st at MoMA PS1, in what is also the artist’s first solo show at a major American institution. Don’t miss it.

RYAN TRECARTIN
The New Museum, February 25 - May 24

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Rhizome’s former executive director Lauren Cornell tapped Ryan Trecartin to co-curate this year’s New Museum Triennial; the pair have collaborated for years, and Trecartin’s much-lauded video works were among the biggest stars of the Triennial’s first edition in 2009, Younger Than Jesus (not to mention his overwhelming critical success in the following years). This edition’s offering, titled Surround Audience, will deal with many of the same issues of media saturation and role embodiment that Trecartin’s work often engages with. But Trecartin's curatorial input is bound to be even more closely scrutinized than this work—after all, the tech-suffused aesthetic of identity art that he unleashed over the past decade has influenced many of today's most interesting artists, from DIS magazine to Jacolby Satterwhite

AVERY SINGER
Foundazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, February 12 - April 12

Though her paintings may at first glance evoke the Constructivist or Cubist tendencies of the avant-garde of yesteryear, the newly minted art star Avery Singer’s paintings are in fact eminently contemporary, utilizing Photoshop and Google SketchUp to render figures in the current idiom of blocky avatars and clear gradients. Her new show Pictures Punish Words at Turin’s Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo will also include her recent forays into 3-D constructions in plastic and renderings that are, as the press release states, “on or in every other possible material surface.”

ON KAWARA
The Guggenheim, February 6 – May 3

When On Kawara died last June, Conceptual art lost one of its most influential practitioners. In various bodies of work, including his well-known “Today” paintings and his “I Am Still Alive” telegrams, the Japanese artist marked time and issued reminders of his presence. His first comprehensive survey, “On Kawara: Silence,” opens this month at the Guggenheim. In addition to dispersing paintings throughout the museum’s spiral, it will animate the rotunda with a continuous live reading of One Million Years, the artist’s massive, multi-volume ledger of annual dates.

DORIS SALCEDO
 MCA Chicago, February 21 – May 24

The works of Doris Salcedo, one the most prominent contemporary sculptors from Latin America, make subtle but powerful references to the conflict-ridden history of her native Colombia. She often infuses minimal forms and industrial materials with haunting hints of domesticity, as in her concrete-filled tables and armoires or her stacks of white shirts pierced by iron bars. Her self-titled first retrospective, opening this month at the MCA Chicago and touring to the Guggenheim in June, will include new textile-based installations such as Disremembered, a group of raw-silk garments pricked by 12,000 needles.

SARAH SZE
Victoria Miro, January 30 – March 14

The formidable young sculptor and MacArthur recipient Sarah Sze fashions whole ecosystems from tiny pieces of detritus, addressing serious topics such as overconsumption and sustainability while supplying viewers with moments of whimsy and delight. Sze represented the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennial, where she threw the American pavilion’s exactingly symmetrical Palladian architecture off-balance with a series of sprawling, spiraling installations; this month she takes over all three of Victoria Miro’s London spaces with a show of new works exploring space and time.

KEHINDE WILEY
Brooklyn Museum, February 20 – May 24

Kehinde Wiley’s canvases, which repopulate Old Master portraits with young black men in contemporary streetwear, have been hailed inside and outside art-world circles as triumphant examples of contemporary figurative painting. (You can even see them on TV, in the hip-hop industry drama “Empire.”) In his much-anticipated Brooklyn Museum solo, “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic,” he takes on new subjects (women and an international array of men) and even ventures into other mediums such as stained-glass and bronze.

KENNY SCHARF
Honor Fraser, February 28 - April 4

Famous for elevating glow-in-the-dark doodles to an art form in his immersive installations, Kenny Scharf melds Surrealist and Pop sensibilities into vibrant works that draw on everything from ’60s psychedelia to the Flintstones. Now this street art pioneer has a new show opening at Los Angeles's Honor Fraser gallery at the end of the month, and if his three previous shows in this space are anything to go by, it’s sure to be colorful, cartoonish, and definitely “far out.”

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