24 Artists to Watch in 2013: Part 2 of 2
As in past years, Modern Painters presents a list of emerging artists whose work we — and the artist-nominators we’ve collaborated with — find especially promising. Part 1 of our "24 Artists to Watch" appeared yesterday and can be read here. Read Part 2 below.
Born 1980, Lausanne, Switzerland. Lives in Glasgow.
“I’m a painter — a painfully slow painter,” says Party, who admits to finishing only five or six pieces a year. “Such slowness allows time and space to pursue other activities. Thus I’m making sculptures and installations, drawings and prints, performances and curatorial projects. But I’m a painter,” he reiterates. “All other productions are made in the shadow cast by the canvas. I’m not producing generic images; I make specific paintings. This is fundamental to any understanding of my practice.” One of Party’s painting-adjacent activities took place in November at Salon 94, in New York, where he hosted Dinner for 24 Dogs, a “performance dinner” that included hand-painted furniture and plates. He’s also preparing for a solo exhibition in the spring at the Modern Institute, in Glasgow. “It will be a presentation of 15 paintings that I have been working on for the past two years,” he says. “All the walls of the gallery will be painted with different decorative patterns to create a non-neutral environment.”
Born 1978, Mönchengladbach, Germany. Lives in London and Cologne.
In Baltes’s works, daily life becomes a subject of constant wonder. She has a light touch and a keen eye for everything that is surprising and sometimes ridiculous in our world. Her photographs document mundane things like lit windows at nighttime (Dark Knight, 2012) or a plastic chain hanging from a stack of logs that looks like a smile. Her paintings use the medium in unexpected ways: Some protrude from the frame (Teaparty for Michael, 2011), others use murals as part of a painting installation. In There You Are!, 2010, a large hand painted on a wall points to a painting that hangs there. Simplicity and not overworking—these, she says, are the things “I need to nurture most: keep it light and tight. Also, giving up on a misplaced investment in ‘painting’ has freed me to do as I feel.” Beyond the fact that the works are witty and subtle, they also show a real interest in composition, color, and texture, which makes them quite beautiful.
Born 1983, Lincolnshire, U.K. Lives in London.
Christian addresses the nature of objects, the burden of art history, and exhibition conventions that have become familiar to the point of invisibility. His early works include empty plinths painted in various shades of white to look dramatically lit, and non-monumental items — like snowballs — carved in marble. In his 2012 “Life Room” series, the artist traces the positions of models posing on a slab of foam as if for a life drawing session. The resulting lines mingle with accidental stains and marks to map an absent body whose memory saturates the support like an afterimage.
Over the last couple of years, Christian has started using words as a medium, “writing from the point of view of making sculpture,” he says. His texts draw on the legacy of semantic poetry and the works of Stefan Themerson, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Francis Ponge. Although concerned with the world’s physical makeup, the texts flirt with the hermetic, obscuring the objects they supposedly describe. Christian often jots notes on chalkboards as he goes along, later erasing them to create serendipitous abstractions he describes as “post-event images.” Process and product collide.
Born 1987, London. Lives in London.
“I build machines that use industrial hydraulics to move,” says Capper of his unique pieces. These machines are part sculptural object, part utilitarian device. “I’m interested in the problem-solving aspect of industrial engineering, which requires a combination of creative and practical thought. There is a strong element of inventing, adapting, and changing existing techniques and processes to resolve a problem — how to make a ship that walks, for instance — and working closely with materials. Ultimately, I hope that this combines to create a distinct new language in the realm of mechanical sculpture.” Capper divides his artistic inventions into categories — ones that are destined for land and those meant for the sea. His newest pieces double as working tools, “hydraulically operated and made to drill, slice, or hew into precast plaster blocks.”
Born 1979, Quartz Hill, California. Lives in New York.
“I like to think about space in relation to the psychological dynamics of domestic spaces, including the embedded power dynamics,” says Dornner of her artistic practice, which includes sculpture, drawing, video, and photography. “The scale and types of objects relate to the body in space and show some possibility of frustrated, impossible, absurd, or magical interaction.” For a solo show that opened at Bureau gallery, in New York, in June, Dornner created a seven-minute video animation, Primavesi House, named for a Josef Hoffmann–designed villa that was destroyed by fire in 1922. In a nod to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist text The Yellow Wallpaper, the video depicts a wallpaper pattern come to life, with chevrons — a common motif in Dornner’s sculptures — rotating and pulsating to dance music. “The video is an exploration of the possibility of psychology affecting a domestic space,” Dornner explains. “Through the works, I try to confound the dominant frameworks of spatial knowledge and suggest alternatives.”
Born 1985, Paris. Lives in Paris.
Perault’s videos and installations chart what she describes as a “sentimental geography.” In Pond Scum, 2011–present, her latest and most ambitious project to date, the artist focuses on a tiny patch of swamp: her grandfather’s former artificial pond. In 1976 he bought a piece of land 12½ miles from the town of Poitiers and, with the dedica-tion of outsider architect Facteur Cheval, started digging to create a miniature lake. Water never really stayed put, and the pond was more of a slough. It also became a meeting point for Perault’s family reunions, a natural landmark of her childhood.