10 Emerging Artists You Really Need To Know Showing at Art Berlin Contemporary 2015
Millennials are featured prominently this year.
abc Art Berlin Contemporary, which opens to the public on September 17, has been known to reinvent itself with every iteration, and has now cemented its status (if reluctantly) as the premiere art fair in the German capital.
Though the city’s art scene has matured (and its rents have gone up) it is still a magnet for young artists, and accordingly, the under-35 generation gets ample attention from curators, gallerists, and collectors here.
With much-hyped artists such as Yngve Holen and Florian Auer sure to create a buzz at abc, the fair has an impressive number of young artists showing presentations conceived especially for their solo booth debuts. Below, artnet News has surveyed the list of artists to bring you the most exciting discoveries at this year’s edition.
1. Max Schaffer at Aanant & Zoo
Born in 1985 in Chile, the Berlin-based artist Max Schaffer deals with techniques of appropriation and translations, mediated by technology. Working with a variety of mediums, his site-specific interventions, objects, drawings, and text pieces weave a complex net of references between the exhibited work, the method of their production, and the specific characteristics of the exhibition space. In his recent show in Berlin, mattress samples served as background for Polaroid test images which the artist got as part of the inventory he had bought from a defunct photo studio.
2. Philipp Modersohn at Galerie Guido W. Baudach
Berlin-based artist Philipp Modersohn, born in 1986, combines everyday objects with concrete and artificial stone to create formations that appear to be showing accelerated geological stratification planes, as if they were the material byproduct of a time warp. This series of works borrows a technique used both in museums and in military strategic planning; while a sensor scans the changing contours of constantly modulating heaps of sand on the floor of the space, topographical color sequences are projected in real time onto the surface.
3. Kate Cooper at Neumeister Bar-Am
Born in 1984, London-based artist Kate Cooper is a sharp observer of representations of femininity amid manipulated images. The artist is showing a new series of work at abc, which will experiment with premonitions, astrology, and magic as tools of autonomous, creative agency. Cooper’s interest in production and labor is also reflected in the program of the artist-run, east London collaborative Auto-Italia, which she co-founded in 2007.
4. Caroline Mesquita at carlier | gebauer
The French sculptor Caroline Mesquita, born in 1989, works in metal, plastic, and glass, creating both abstract and figurative works. Her unique approach to forms and space draws on the appeal of the familiar and trusted only to then obliterate it. A new installation, making its debut at abc, evokes a motley crew of outsiders and rebels, who opt for idleness as a form of resistance.
5. Josh Reames at Brand New Gallery
The buzz-worthy Chicago-based painter Josh Reames, born in 1985, consciously employs commonly used artistic techniques, such as trompe-l’oeil, action painting, graphic design, screen-printing, and rudimentary drawing, all existing on one plane. At abc, Reames presents paintings that reference print-making techniques while also considering the medium in relation to the internet. (Read artnet News’ interview with Reames to find out more about the diversity of references that make appearances in his canvases.)
6. Lydia Ourahmane at Ellis King
The Algerian artist Lydia Ourahmane, born in 1992, works with sculpture, video, installations, and performance. Her recent solo show at the Dublin-based gallery Ellis King included the work The Third Choir (2014-15), composed of empty oil barrels from an Algerian company used as sound amplifiers, and The Third Choir Archives (2014-15), a lecture performance in which Ourahmane confronted the intricate nature of Algerian bureaucratic system, illustrating how she finally managed, after applying six times for customs clearance, to import 20 oil barrels to the UK.
7. Ivan Comas at Steve Turner
Born in 1987 and based in Buenos Aires, Ivan Comas creates textured paintings that echo features of urban landscapes using cement, asphalt, and house paint. Comas’s canvases evoke signs of neglect and decay not uncommon in megacities. He photographs places across the Americas, and then translates the photographed details into paintings, thus capturing the signs of urban and social deterioration.
8. He Xiangyu at Bischoff Projects
The young conceptual Chinese artist He Xiangyu, born in 1986, goes headlong into the controversies of contemporary Chinese culture, making a splash with works such as The Death of Marat (2011), a life-size sculpture depicting the dead body of Ai Weiwei, face down. For his work Cola Project (2009), he hired migrant workers to boil down 127 tons of Coca Cola over one year, resulting in dark, residual matter which recalls geological remains.
9. Veit Laurent Kurz at Johan Berggren Gallery
Born in Germany in 1985, Veit Laurent Kurz’s installations imagine post-industrial ecosystems that, while fertile and lush, allude to a recent catastrophe that has wiped out all of humanity. Toxicity interferes with nature, and mutant purple bugs can be spotted in some of his works. Kurz created a piece for DIS Magazine’s Dystopia issue, promoting a herbal gel produced during his show at the gallery.
10. Cäcilia Brown at Gabriele Senn Galerie
The French artist Cäcilia Brown, born in 1983 and based in Vienna, produces sculptures from discarded objects which she strips of their utility and function. Having worked in Europe as well as China and Japan, Brown’s concrete and steel objects gain new contexts through the titles she gives her works, evoking unexpected narratives.
abc Art Berlin Contemporary takes place at Station Berlin from September 17-20.
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