The 50 Most Exciting Artists in Europe Today: Part One
See who made the cut.
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 Europe at the moment.
1. Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Abu Hamdan makes work concerned with politics and human rights; in 2013, his work The Freedom of Speech Itself (2012) was presented at the UK Asylum Tribunal.
He was the Armory Show commissioned artist this year and had a solo show “Taqiyya”, at Kunsthalle St Gallen. He has also shown work at M KHA in Antwerp and Tate Modern.
2. Larry Achiampong
Achiampong is a performance and new media artist living and working in London who has shown work at Tate Modern and Nottingham Contemporary.
In his latest work, he collaborates with fellow artist David Blandy on the film project Finding Fanon that sees them looking into the Marxist humanist thinker Frantz Fanon’s work while exploring issues of race and post-colonialism in the context of their own relationship.
He also creates work under the alter egos Cloudface and Black Ph03nix.
3. Aaron Angell
Angell works mainly in ceramics, creating what he refers to as “anti-art.” His small works echo the aesthetic of outsider art—as they are fully intended to.
Studio Voltaire, held a solo exhibition of his work, “Grotwork,” earlier this year, and he took part in a group show “A merman I should turn to be” at Laura Bartlett.
4. Florian Auer
German artist Florian Auer uses sculpture and works on paper to explore issues relating to our relationships with technology.
5. Alisa Baremboym
Baremboym’s work explores ideas surrounding manufacturing, technology, and the female body, raising questions about our relationships with machines, but also their relation to the objects that they mass produce.
This year has seen Baremboym perform the work Memory Palace with Seung-Min Lee at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York, and show work in Berlin at Schinkel Pavillon, and at the Künstlerhaus in Austria.
6. Lucy Beech & Edward Thomasson
Lucy Beech and Edward Thomasson’s collaborative film and performance works analyze the everyday, feeding it back to the viewer in a thoughtful and affecting way.
Attendees at Frieze London this year might have seen their performative work Passive Aggressive 3, as a part of Frieze Live.
7. Marco Bruzzone
Bruzzone’s work comprises of works on paper and sculpture. His sculpture uses everyday objects such as plants and footwear; in contrast, his abstract works on paper are often painted in monochrome.
Bruzzone is an Italian artist who lives and works in Berlin. He has shown work at WIELS, Performa 13, and Palais de Tokyo.
8. Sol Calero
Sol Calero’s show “La Escuela del Sur” at Studio Voltaire was on many people’s hit list during Frieze London this year.
Her installations and paintings explore her cultural identity (she moved from Venezuela to Europe as a child) and wider themes through the recreating of normal social environments, such as schools, hairdressers, and cafes, while appropriating imagery commonly associated with Latin America.
9. Claudia Comte
Comte is a Swiss artist living and working in Berlin, and represented by Gladstone Gallery. She works mainly in sculpture made from highly polished wood.
Her work, which use the natural textures of the wood, are rumored to be in the collection of Hollywood art aficionado, Brad Pitt.
10. Kate Cooper
Cooper’s work uses references from consumer advertising and highly finished CGI to create a slick and surreal effects in her films and images.
Last year she was awarded the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award 2014, the prize for which was a solo exhibition, “RIGGED,” at Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art. She’s represented by Neumeister Bar-Am gallery.
11. Zuzanna Czebatul
Czebatul, creates beautiful and affecting drawings and sculpture.
In a recent pop-up group show organized by KRIYA 3000 in New York she exhibited a sculpture combining glasswork and photography and a beautiful floor work as her show Opus Sectile at Ludlow 38. She also creates simple, yet affecting drawings, manipulating the frames to create unique shapes.
12. Zhang Ding
Zhang Ding’s solo presentation “Enter the Dragon” at the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) in London appeared alongside Prem Sahib (who’s also on or list).
In contrast to Sahib’s work, Ding transformed the ICA’s theater into a “mutating sound sculpture,” a reaction to Bruce Lee’s final film, Enter the Dragon. He also worked with musicians including Japanese art rockers Bo Ningen who performed simultaneously.
Dullaart is a Dutch artist living and working in Berlin. His work is concerned with “visualizing internet vernaculars and software dialects.”
He’s currently causing a stir with his latest web-based project, in which Dullaart and two assistants are creating thousands of fake Facebook profiles (using the names of Hessian soldiers-for-hire who fought in the U.S. civil war) flouting Facebook’s policy on “fake” profiles.
The intention is to stage mass “likes” of certain posts in protest against what Dullaart calls the “quantification of social capital.”
Christian Falsnaes is a Danish artist living and working in Berlin.
A conceptual and performance artist concerned with rituals and societal behaviors, Falsnaes has been known to direct participants in his performances as he adopts various personas including the “white heterosexual male”.
This year he had solo exhibition at DREI gallery, Cologne and has shown work in Buenos Aires, Gent, and in his adopted home of Berlin. His performance piece at the booth of Berlin gallery PSM drew much attention at Art Basel 2015.
15. Ed Fornieles
The British artist’s work investigates the relationship between URL (online), and IRL (In Real Life) using a range of mediums from film, interventions, and installation, to painting and sculpture.
His latest project sees him replacing himself with images of an animated fox named “Ed,” alongside other cartoon characters, or avatars, including artist Amalia Ulman and writer Dean Kissick.
Earlier this year he took part in “Workplace: The Fence is a Narrow Place,” a group show at ChateauShatto in Los Angeles that recreated an office environment full of conceptual twists.
16. Celia Hempton
Hempton’s small paintings explore the nature of pornography and intimate images in the internet age.
Her very painterly, cropped images of genitalia, whether covered by a hand or brazenly splayed out on a bed, always raise questions beyond the obvious.
This year has seen her exhibit in three solo shows, at Galerie Sultana in Paris, at ARCO Madrid, and White Cubical in East London.
Since then, her career has gone from strength to strength, although her latest paintings have seen a departure in her work that has continued to sell well but received a mixed critical response.
Represented in Europe by galleries including Galerie Neu in Berlin, Holen’s work explores our relationship with technology through the use of juxtaposed objects from speakers to fishnet fabric.
19. Donna Huanca
Huanca works with painting installations and performance. Her use of a light and bright palette, often incorporating the physical nude human body, creates unique tensions in her work.
The New York based artist was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship in 2012, and exhibited at MoMA PS1, among others, but it’s her shows in Europe, most recently “MUSCLE MEMORY” at Peres Projects in Berlin, that drew due attention to her versatile work.
20. Veit Laurent Kurz
Laurent Kurz creates enigmatic artworks using living plants, exploring not only the lushness of the material but also the biological networks that connect plant-life.
His work drew much attention at art berlin contemporary 2015, and he’s part of a current group show at Bed Stuy Love Affair in New York.
21. Hanne Lippard
Hanne Lippard makes sound works and poetry performances using her own writing and voice.
Usually working on themes of modern working life and our relationship with technology, her vignettes, varying in length from around one minute to almost an hour, are thought-provoking and hypnotic.
22. Marcos Lutyens
Lutyens’s layered and complex work embraced installation and, often, hypnosis.
His performance and installation work was included at the 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms that saw him create a multi-faceted marine netherworld in Neurathian Boatstrap (2015).
23. Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
Lutz-Kinoy creates large, bright atmospheric paintings and installations. But he also makes performance pieces, which he carries out in the presence of his work, to conjure unique environments.
Lutz-Kinoy is currently participating in two group exhibition in Europe, in Glasgow and in the Netherlands, and is represented by L.A. gallery Freedman-Fitzpatrick, who’s showing the artist at Art Basel Miami Beach this year.
24. Carl Mannov
Mannov, a Danish artist living and working in Oslo, creates paintings on canvas and also carved into concrete, seeking to complement the ancient with the contemporary. He uses fluid forms and paints with very diluted washes.
He exhibited with Chris Hood at Rod Barton in London this summer.
25. Caroline Mesquita
Mesquita is sculptor working mainly in textured and distressed sheet metal, her figures often installed as an interrelating group. She also creates images on metal using an oxidizing technique with a painterly overall effect.
She exhibited at art berlin contemporary and Galerie Carlier Gebauer in Berlin, and has shown in France and in Oslo’s Astrup Fearnley Museet.
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