Here Are 5 Emerging Artists That You Should Know—and Can Discover Virtually This May

Many galleries are closed, but you can still discover new talent in these virtual exhibitions around the world.

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Azaleas - digital still life (2002–2004). Courtesy of Little Bird Place.
Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Azaleas - digital still life (2002–2004). Courtesy of Little Bird Place.

2020 is not a year like other years. May, usually a marquee month of auctions and art fairs, is now but a mere whisper of its former self. But that’s not to say it’s without charms, as young artists around the world continue to make and debut new works in galleries that are both opened and closed to the public.

And so, though you might not be able to make the usual circuit of galleries, you can certainly still discover up-and-coming talents. This month we’re highlighting five emerging artists whose practices you might not know, but should—and whose most recent work can be experienced online through the Artnet Gallery Network.

 

Dominic Chambers, “Black Voices, Black Microcosm” at CFHILL Art Space, Stockholm 

Dominic Chambers, Life is Elsewhere (Max in Blue) (2019). Courtesy of CFHILL Art Space.

Dominic Chambers, Life is Elsewhere (Max in Blue) (2019). Courtesy of CFHILL Art Space.

Dominic Chambers’s paintings often have a mythological or quasi-religious feel, with contemporary figures enraptured by supernatural experiences. In this lush group show, Chambers presents one hypnotic canvas in shades of blues and greens, and which captures much of show’s magic. In the image, a seated young man, in what appears to be a smartwatch and a pair of crocs, reclines in an otherworldly midnight landscape, as the glowing, ghostly silhouette of a figure leans over him—but the figure seems either unafraid or unaware of its presence.

Black Voices, Black Microcosm” is on view online through May 16, 2020, at CFHILL Art Space.

 

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, “Digital Still Life” at Little Bird Place, Sofia 

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Daisies (2002–2004). Courtesy of Little Bird Place.

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Daisies (2002–04). Courtesy of Little Bird Place.

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova captures pictures of ordinary people passing on the street and then imposes these figures on technically reproduced backgrounds of repeated images—typically a bed of identical flowers or patterns inspired by the person’s clothing. The images seem to at once elevate the subjects into some ethereal plane, while likewise hinting at the disconnect between our daily lives and natural environments. 

Digital Still Life” is on view online through May 22, 2020, with Little Bird Place.

 

Shikeith at ltd los angeles

Shikeith, A Missed Prayer, 2017 (Printed 2019). Courtesy of ltd Los Angeles.

Shikeith, A Missed Prayer (2017, printed 2019).
Courtesy of ltd los angeles.

The Pittsburgh-based artist Shikeith explores the psychological terrain of black masculinity in photography, video, and sculpture. “Rude / Emergencies,” his debut solo exhibition with the gallery last year, included a five-channel video to bathe a mirror, a montage of the complex—sometimes violent—physical realities of young black men, in scenes ranging from boxing gyms to solo dancing. Though unflinching, his images of entwined limbs, nuzzled necks, and poised bodies are also very tender. Recently Shikeith’s photograph Hunter was acquired by the Hammer Museum. 

Works by Shikeith are on view online with ltd los angeles.

 

Kiluanji Kia Henda, “Authenticité” at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg 

Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Last Journey of the Dictator Mussunda N'zombo Before the Great Extinction (Act III) (2017). Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Last Journey of the Dictator Mussunda N’zombo Before the Great Extinction (Act III) (2017). Courtesy of Goodman Gallery.

“Authenticité” was a term first employed by Mobutu Sese Seko, the president of what was then Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) to describe a state-sanctioned mission to cultivate cultural authenticity in the wake of post-independence-era Africa. This exhibition brings together contemporary artists who in some way respond to that klaxon call—especially in this moment of global pause. Angolan artist Kiluanji Kia Henda takes up this mantle quite easily, ably weaving history, war, and colonialism into a multimedia practice of performance, installation, and photography that is resolutely hopeful and seamlessly (even playfully) weaves documentary elements together with theatrical storytelling and a good dose of humor.

Authenticité” is on view online through May 14, 2020, at Goodman Gallery. 

 

Samuel Prudden at Chacha Gallery, Aspen

Samuel Prudden, The Road, The Wait (2017). Courtesy of Cha Cha Gallery.

Samuel Prudden, The Road, The Wait (2017). Courtesy of Cha Cha Gallery.

Aspen-born artist Samuel Prudden’s neo-realist paintings feel oddly timely despite finding inspiration from the struggles of the 1920s New World. His images are primarily reinterpretations of the Dust Bowl and Depression-era photographs, along with century-old revolutionary struggles in Latin America. Prudden translates these black-and-white images into color and inflects them with a certain cinematic romanticism. The present image was inspired by Dorothea Lange’s 1937 photograph One the Road to Los Angeles, California (1937), for instance. Prudden says his artistic interest lies primarily in the struggles and joys of rural and agricultural life and the threats facing those whose livelihoods are most tied to the land.

Works by Samuel Prudden are on view online with Chacha Gallery. 


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