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Artist to Watch

10 Artists to Watch This September


10 Artists to Watch This September
The artist Alicja Kwade

Stuart Shave/Modern Art, Sept. 5 - Oct. 3

Torey Thorton is part of the new wave of young artists who aren’t afraid to get their figuration mixed up with their abstraction. In Thorton’s case, this manifests as colorful compositions with a healthy mix of childlike doodles, spray paint, and collaged elements, often made on unusual surfaces like slatted wood panels. Born in 1990 in Macon, Georgia, the Cooper Union Graduate has already had solo shows at KARMA, OHWOW, TORRI, and now he is exhibiting new paintings at Stuart Shave/Modern Art in London. In 2016 he'll have his first institutional solo at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

Tanya Bonakdar, Sept. 10 – Oct. 17

After representing the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale and making an encore appearance in the group-show portion of this year’s festival, Sarah Sze is back in New York with one of her meticulous installations of minuscule household objects. It will include a delicate blue string hammock from Landscape of Events Suspended Indefinitely, her contribution to the current Biennale, and is likely to feature similar themes of loss and disintegration.

Public Art Fund in Central Park (Doris C. Freedman Plaza), Sept. 10 - Feb. 14, 2016

The Polish-born, Berlin-based sculptor Alicja Kwade is messing with time in a new installation on Central Park’s Doris C. Freedman Plaza. The piece, called Against the Run, is a New York City Street clock modified so that the clock face spins in the opposite direction of the second hand—time will appear to be reversing, even as the minute and hour hands show the correct time. This will be her second time installing a piece in Central Park under the auspices of the Public Art Fund; the first was in their 2013 group show “Lightness of Being,” where she showed a Raleigh bicycle bent into a perfect circle and entitled Journey Without Arrival (Raleigh).

ICA Boston, through Nov. 9

The Palestinian-British video, sculpture, and performance artist Mona Hatoum is currently in the midst of a large scale retrospective at the Pompidou that's set to travel to the Tate Modern in London and Kiasma in Helsinki next year. The ICA Boston, meanwhile, will play host to Hatoum this September in a solo show dedicated to the artist featuring works drawn entirely from the museum's holdings.

Luhring Augustine, Sept. 11-Oct 31 

There are two artists, predominantly known as painters of Rumpelstiltskin-esque productivity who straddle abstraction and figuration, who are going to flout expectations with showings of their sculptures this month. One of them is Picasso, at MoMA; on the other end of the intensity spectrum is Josh Smith, whose exuberantly turned out, easygoing sculptures—charismatic doodles in space, more or less—share the vibe of his equally clubbable paintings. With this new round of Smith’s sought-after work, the gallery says to expect efforts that “question the parameters of painting and sculpture,” a promising premise that the artist carries out rather coyly: neither painting nor sculpture, per se, these two-dimensional, built-up works on panel buck mediumistic expectations while retaining Smith's signature style. 

Petzel Gallery, Sept. 10 - Oct. 24

The painter Dana Schutz has been ratcheting up the levels of physical and psychological awkwardness in her abstract-meets-figurative compositions, with wonderfully entertaining results. In her second exhibition at Petzel, evocatively titled “Fight in an Elevator,” she focuses on people making frantic, desperate gestures in confined spaces. (One of her subjects is a lion tamer who appears to have gotten too close to the beast). The point isn’t just to titillate us, but to force her characters into productive confrontation with the picture plane.

Tate Modern, September 17 - January 24

Since the artist Marjorie Strider passed away last year at age 83 it seems as if the art world has suddenly awoken to her work. Her Pop-tweaking paintings use similar pinup imagery to Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselman’s beach babes, but often with a sardonic twist—for instance, the breasts of one of her bikini-wearers might protrude from the painting, simultaneously mocking the male gaze (“Here you go, boys”) and breaking with the Greenbergian picture-plane. Recently featured by Broadway 1602 gallery in both its Independent booth and a solo show, she is now included in the category-expanding show “The World Goes Pop” (alighting at Tate Modern this month). 

The Istanbul Biennial & Marian Goodman, London, Sept. 11-Oct. 24

With one of the few announced ingredients of Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s much-anticipated Istanbul Biennial being “the wise uncertainties of William Kentridge,” the South African artist is already on the global radar this month—but the main event for Kentridge fans will be the opening of his first substantial London show in a decade and a half at Marian Goodman. Expected to contain two new “immersive multiscreen film installations” as well as a welter of other work across media, the show, titled “More Sweetly Play the Dance,” will also include elements relating to two of the artist’s most ambitious upcoming undertakings: a staging of Alban Berg’s “Lulu” at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and a colossal frieze that he will create along the Tiber in Rome by using power washers to “draw” in the accumulated grit lining the river’s banks. (Not enough Kentridge for you? He also has a production of "Refuse the Hour" debuting at BAM next month.)

David Zwirner, New York, Sept. 16 - Oct. 24

Name a trend in contemporary photography, and it’s more than likely that it can be traced to Wolfgang Tillmans. His deceptively casual installations of unframed prints, his forays into abstract photography, and his prescient understanding of the medium’s social dimension have been especially influential on young artists. His much-anticipated first outing with Zwirner, “PCR,” makes reference to the process by which DNA molecules are copied and, by extension, the replication, amplification, and repetition of images in culture today. It includes some 70 images and a new split-screen video, Instrument; the artist is also screening some of his other videos at The Kitchen on September 14, and his 2014 installation Book for Architects remains on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through November 1.

Paula Cooper Gallery, Sept. 10-Oct. 17

When Christian Marclay made his seminal, Golden Lion-winning film The Clock, splicing together time-related movie imagery to create a seamless cinematic timepiece, he won the kind of rapturous popular reception that works of art hardly ever attain; when the piece was shown at Paula Cooper, viewers lined up around the block. At the same time this work was something of an anomaly for the artist, whose real preoccupation is not film but sound (represented in The Clock by all the tick-tocking). Now, the former avant-garde DJ is returning to Paula Cooper with another film that fuses that visual medium and his aural subject matter: a silent video work called Surround Sounds, in which the animated sound effects found in comic books have been set loose from the page and appear to float through space.


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