Which Artists Should You Be Watching? Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Hilton Als, and Other Artnet Innovators Share Their Picks
We asked the 35 artists, dealers, tastemakers, and entrepreneurs on the 2022 Artnet Innovators List which artists are doing the most exciting work. Here are some of their answers.
Which artists are doing the most exciting work? We asked the 35 trailblazing artists, dealers, tastemakers, and entrepreneurs on the 2022 Artnet Innovators List that question as part of this year’s report. We’ve gathered some of their insights here, in one collective interview. Take in their tips and learn more from individual members of the list on Artnet News in the coming weeks.
Which artists are you most excited about right now?
I don’t like much art because I’m competitive, but if I had to choose I would put my money on Andra Ursuta or Jacolby Satterwhite because, whether you like it or not, they are real artists. Trust me, I can tell the difference.
I really love Flora Yukhnovich and how she just exploded in the past years. As for Thai artists, Kawita Vatanajyankur, also a good friend, is still pushing boundaries for Thai female performing artists so it’s always exciting to see her new works.
I am mostly drawn towards artists that move past that initial, surface-level excitement of technology, and create space within a more personal framework. Without overthinking it, I’d say Kazumasa Teshigawara (primarily known as Qubibi), Auriea Harvey, Léa Porré, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, and Sara Ludy. Also I want to mention Cel Genesis—their music and performances are exactly what I hoped sounds of this time would become.
There are so many. Meriem Bennani’s complex, short Instagram videos are such a clever project. I’ve just discovered Theophilos, a turn-of-the-century Greek outsider artist. Kathleen Ryan has had amazing shows at Karma and Josh Lilley, and a Royal Academy commission. I also love the filmmaker Lucy Raven. And Trevor Paglen and Stan Douglas are artists I always go back to.
Nazgol Ansarini. She is so talented and clever and keeps reinventing through her art. She produces fantastic works that are very topical and humorous, thoughtful and in multimedia, including etchings, carpets, ceramics and resins. She is one to watch who is still based in Tehran. On the [Iranian] diaspora side, I am still very impressed by the quality and deep contemplation that goes into every painting by Ali Banisadr.
Watching the generative art scene explode over the past year and a half has been incredible. I know the work can look like “screensavers” to a lot of the contemporary art world, but the (gendered) fear of the decorative has long haunted abstraction, and these artists can use code as creatively as Pollock used paint. I’ve really enjoyed speaking with artists like Dmitri Cherniak and Emily Xie, who have all been very generous in talking through their work with me.
–Tina Rivers Ryan
I say: “Is that a fair question?” I think the point is to remain open to everyone.
In my opinion, the artist SHL0MS is the digital version of Banksy. He does these off-the-wall, experimental and absurdist pieces like when he blew up a Lamborghini in the desert and made high-resolution renderings of the remnants. It’s performance art. Another artist that I admire is Mario Klingemann. He works with machine-learning art and my own career started there. The hardest thing to do as a machine-learning artist is using those tools while still creating something that is truly art.
Sarah Lucas (always), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lydia Ourahmane.
There are some interesting rediscoveries happening. An artist with great Singapore and UK connections is Kim Lim, who died in the 1990s. It is wonderful to see people like her getting valued.
Here’s a weird answer: artificial intelligence. I’m usually drawn more to ideas within an artwork than the person behind it. But programs like Midjourney have a very specific style, and sometimes it feels like I’m competing with the A.I. When artists make something with it, I usually attribute their work to the program.
Tom Sachs has been a role model, and he’s taking an approach to the inherent incompatibility between digital and physical artworks that I think actually works. With his Rocket Factory project, I can own the sculpture and sell the accompanying NFT without feeling like my sculpture is now worth less, because that NFT goes on to create other digital objects like Mars Rocks. He’s a nutty professor.
Firelei Báez. I’ve always loved her work. It draws upon science fiction and the histories of the African diaspora. It feels loving and seductive and beautiful and warm, but it also reflects themes of Black resistance, and it’s gorgeous and extremely well-done work. And on top of all of that, she is a beautiful person and extremely clear and articulate about her practice, who she is, and what her intentions are.
I’m fascinated by the great depth and strength of Vibeke Mascini’s practice, curiosity, and thinking, which is so unique and profound. I was recently mesmerized by Togar, the work of Julian Abraham at the 58th Carnegie International, with which I could have spent hours on end. And I continue to be taken by the work of Abbas Zahedi, and his ability to transform such difficult and personal subjects, as grief, into the most poetic of experiences through his work.
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