The 30 Most Exciting Artists in North America Today: Part Two

The list just keeps getting better.

Josh Kline, FREEDOM (2015>Image: Benoit Pailley
Josh Kline, FREEDOM (2015>
Image: Benoit Pailley
Dynasty Handbag.Image: Courtesy of the Kitchen.

Dynasty Handbag.
Image: Courtesy of The Kitchen.

It has been an exciting year for contemporary art, with a young generation of artists pushing the boundaries both in terms of materials and subject matters. But with so much going on it’s easy to miss out.

In an effort to capture the moment, we at artnet News have put together a directory of the most exciting artists showing, living, and working in the United States, Canada, and Mexico at the moment. (See Part One here.)

Richard Prince, "New Portraits" at Gagosian Gallery. Installation view.

Richard Prince, “New Portraits” at Gagosian Gallery. Installation view.

16. Richard Prince
2015 wasn’t the first year Prince stirred up controversy for his appropriation work, but this year his work made him notorious among Instagram selfie-takers everywhere. In May, the Suicidegirls whose Instas Prince commented on, printed out, and sold for exorbitant prices reappropriated the artist and sold their own versions of the prints, for charity, for $90.

Harry Dodge, The Cybernetic Fold (2015), Installation View.Photo: Wallspace.

Harry Dodge, The Cybernetic Fold (2015), Installation View.
Photo: Wallspace.

17. Harry Dodge
The now-shuttered Wallspace Gallery displayed Dodge’s colorful, geometric, post-internet-y sculptures and wall objects this May with a show called “The Cybernetic Fold”. In 2016, his work will be featured in Kunsthalle Wien’s group show, “The Promise of Total Automation,” as well as “Routine Pleasures” at Mak Center/Schindler House in LA.

Jeanette Hayes, <em>Sailor Moon with Crystal (from the DeMooning Series)</em> (2015) <br>Image: Courtesy of Castor Gallery</br>

Jeanette Hayes, Sailor Moon with Crystal (from the DeMooning Series) (2015)
Image: Courtesy of Castor Gallery

18. Jeanette Hayes
Internet personality Jeanette Hayes is known for her appropriated paintings of famous works of modern art juxtaposed with appropriations of cartoon characters like Sailor Moon and Pokemon. In 2015 her work was featured in group shows at Castor Gallery and The Hole in New York, and Super Dakota in Brussels.

Rachel Whiteread, House (1993) © Rachel Whiteread / Photo Sue Omerod

Rachel Whiteread, House (1993).
Image: © Rachel Whiteread; photo by Sue Omerod.

19. Rachel Whiteread
The London-based, Turner Prize-winning artist enjoyed a hotly-anticipated, major show this year at Luhring Augustine, where her work was featured in both the Chelsea and Bushwick locations. Her work was also prominently featured in the critically-acclaimed MoMA exhibition “Endless House: Intersections of Art and Architecture,” which will be on display until March 6, 2016.

Gabriel Kuri at the Aspen Art Museum, installation view. Photo: Aspen Art Museum.

Gabriel Kuri at the Aspen Art Museum, installation view.
Photo: Aspen Art Museum.

20. Gabriel Kuri 
Mexico City-born multimedia artist Gabriel Kuri was the subject of a solo show this year at the Aspen Art Museum. “Gabriel Kuri: with personal thanks to their contractual thingness” explored Kuri’s use of pedestrian materials to explore how commerce infiltrates almost all human relationships. His most recent curatorial effort, “Unidades y Continuidadesis currently on display at Kurimanzutto and features David Medalla, John Divola, Lee Ufan, and Stanley Brouwn.

Edgar Arceneaux . Photo: WIkipedia.

Edgar Arceneaux .
Photo: Courtesy of WIkipedia.

21. Edgar Arceneaux 
Arceneauz, the sleeper hit of this year’s Performa biennial, walked away with the bi-annual Performa Award (presented by the likes of punk icon Richard Hell) for Until, Until, Until…, which riffed on a controversial and racially-charged 1981 performance by Ben Vereen, which was televised as part of the inauguration of President Reagan. If you missed Arceneaux’s rousing performance, you can catch it at USC in April 2016.

Josh Kline, FREEDOM (2015>Image: Benoit Pailley

Josh Kline, FREEDOM (2015).
Image: Courtesy of the New Museum; photo by Benoit Pailley.

22. Josh Kline
The New Museum Triennial was met with mixed reviews, but Kline’s strange Teletubby-police man sculptures whose TV screen bellies showed feeds about violence and police brutality were widely agreed to be a highlight.

Pedro Reyes, Sanatorium (2013) at Whitechapel Gallery.

Pedro Reyes, Sanatorium (2013) at Whitechapel Gallery.

23. Pedro Reyes
Mexico City-based Reyes took LA’s Hammer Museum by storm with “The People’s United Nations (pUN),” an exhibition-cum-event that placed the diplomatic problems currently facing the United Nations in the hands of everyday people. He also enjoyed a solo exhibition at ICA Miami’s temporary exhibition space in the landmark Moore Building, where his installation Sanatorium took the form of a transient mental health clinic, complete with receptionists and “therapists” trained by the artist to aid visitors.

His massive installation Disarm, which transforms violent weapons into musical instruments, is currently on view at Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery in the UK.

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Dynasty Handbag, hard at work.
Image: Courtesy the artist’s website.

24. Dynasty Handbag
In 2015, comedic performance artist Dynasty Handbag, aka Jibz Cameron, worked her magic at MOCA alongside fellow comedian Kate Berlant, was featured in the buzzed-about curated exhibition “The Daily Show” at Bureau Gallery, and returned to the Kitchen to perform “Good Morning Evening Feelings with Dynasty Handbag.

While the “upcoming” section of her website matter-of-factly reads “Nothing Happening,” we have a feeling that’s far from true.

Paul Chan, still from Hippoys Minor.Image: Courtesy of YouTube.

Paul Chan, still from Hippias Minor.
Image: Courtesy of YouTube.

25. Paul Chan
The artist’s return to the art world is a welcome one; he’s been busy since his self-imposed exile ended. After accepting the Hugo Boss Prize in 2014, he debuted  Hippias Minor  this summer at Desde Foundation Project Space in Athens. 

Shary Boyle & Christine Fellows.Image: Courtesy http://shadowsongs.me.

Shary Boyle & Christine Fellows.
Image: Courtesy shadowsongs.me.

26. Shary Boyle
The Toronto-based artist was a hit at 2013’s Venice Biennale, where she represented Canada with a cave of wild projections. This year, she teamed up again with longtime collaborator Christine Fellows on the performance Turn out the light / Bring on the night.

View of site specific installation Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity by Karin Jones in the Wilson Canadian Heritage Exhibition Room.Image: Courtesy of ROM.

View of site specific installation Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity by Karin Jones in the Wilson Canadian Heritage Exhibition Room.
Image: Courtesy of ROM.

27. Karin Jones
Her recent installation of a Victorian mourning dress woven with hair at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) confronted themes of colonialism, slavery, and marginalization. “I wear my African-Canadian identity much as a Victorian woman would have worn this type of dress: proudly, but uncomfortably, shaped and also constrained by it,” she writes in the description of Worn: Shaping Black Feminine Identity. 

Postcommodity, Repellent Fence (2015). Photo: Courtesy Postcommodity.

Postcommodity, Repellent Fence (2015).
Photo: Courtesy Postcommodity.

28. Postcommodity
Transdisciplinary art collective Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist) broke the record for the largest bi-national land art installation in history this year with Repellent Fence, comprised of 26 ten-foot-wide “scare eye” balloons floating 50 feet above the hotly contested US/Mexico border.

The trio also exhibited work at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and at New York’s Radiator Gallery this year.

SImone Forti. Photo: Movement Research.

SImone Forti.
Photo: Movement Research.

29. Simone Forti
Los Angeles-based artist Simone Forti, who rose to prominence in the 1960s, was the recipient of a glowing open letter from Andrew Berardini on her show “On An Iron Post” at LA’s The BOX Gallery. The 80-year-old artist also showed at the Index Foundation in Sweden this year, where her interdisciplinary approach to dance and visual art was highlighted.

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Relationship, 2008-13 (detail). Photo: Whitney Museum and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Relationship, 2008-13 (detail).
Photo: Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

30. Zackary Drucker
Drucker, a multimedia artist who was featured on our list of 15 revolutionary transgender artists, participated in Cooper Union’s acclaimed  “Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives and Aesthetics” alongside Chris Vargas, Vaginal Davis, Justin Vivian Bond, and others. Drucker is also a co-producer on the acclaimed Amazon series “Transparent,” which will return for a second season in 2016.

She will also be featured alongside longtime collaborator and partner Rhys Ernst in a photography show at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in spring 2016, which will explore the pair’s journey a transgender couple.


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