Whether called "artists to watch lists" or features online titled "On the Radar", a staple of C-print since the beginning of a 10 years' run, has been to find ways to highlight and share artists who we either are or actively will be monitoring based on a hunch and insight into what is believed to be a bright path in contemporary art. Without further ado and with no inherent order, here's the start of our eleventh year, with nine among many many more artists, to keep a close eye on.
Alison Nguyen, installation view, MIT List Visual Arts Center. history as hypnosis, 2023, three-channel video, color, stereo sound, 7’ x 4’x 1/8” aluminum panels, metal seating, colored light, 25 minute loop. Photo Credit: Dario Lasagni
During what was several professional visits to various American art schools last year, among which to Columbia University, we were particularly exhilarated by the visionary and experimental filmmaker Alison Nguyen. At the time of our studio visit she was gearing up for her then still upcoming first institutional exhibition at MIT List Visual Arts Center in Massachusetts. The exhibition premiered the three-channel video installation “history as hypnosis” for which she resourcefully staged the West Coast, while on the East Coast. A total oscilliation between tonalities of visual imagery, from old-school experimental to hyper-crisp contemporary David Cronenberg-esque. On the hand, she had you thinking of the colour saturated Kieslowski and on the other, of the visual offbeat aesthetic of the late Robert Altman’s “3 women” (1977), all the while the concerning a notion like cultural assimilation with fresh narrational devices and characters, drawing from a personal family realm. The film was screened in a solo event at MoMA just before this past Christmas, which ought to tell you, and an upcoming solo is due at the end of February at the Foundation Op Cit in CDMX.
Camila Manuelsdotter Pino (2022). Image courtesy of the artist.
Camila Manuelsdotter Pino
Camila Manuelsdotter Pino is an MFA 2023 grad of Konstfack in Stockholm. In particular, excited by how her background in photography (BFA, HDK Valand, Gothenburg) comes to surface and as source, in transformative works, leaping on from photography towards drawing and painting, while making use of her personal archives. An interest in intersecting expressions allegedly manifests and mirrors a state of also herself being found in a condition of inbetweenness; a latina in Sweden. Also, we love a semantic tongue-in-cheek quality that marks parts of her work. She recently presented in group exhibitions at Mångkulturellt Centrum and Riche in Stockholm ("FAKE LOCATION SUSPECTED!" curated by our team's Ashik Zaman) and she will soon present in a group exhibition at the often very potent Södertälje konsthall.
Hanna Antonsson. Image courtesy of the artist
We first connected with HDK Valand grad Hanna Antonsson while brought in, in 2020, as guest critic at the time of her BFA cohort’s graduation. At the time she worked in sublime fashion exploring the modular capacity of photographs. More recently, taxidermy in sculpture is the axis around which her work revolves. We’re definitely fans of kinetic sculpture, having as curators ourselves worked with artists such as Tobias Bradford and Rachel Youn in noted exhibitions. Hanna has a lot to offer in this realm, which you will see. We love that she is connected to Warsaw (a fave art city of the team) through representation by the still new WANDA, with which she already checked off doing Liste Art Fair in Basel last year. Recent exhibitions include ones at Coulisse Gallery in Stockholm and PODIUM in Olso, with an upcoming two-person exhibition due this year at YKTTIK in Tokyo.
Anton Lind, studio installation view. Photo: Ashik Zaman
There was a time about 10 years ago when we were longing for the presence of more (a lot more) figurative painting, when a part of the art world was still very focused on abstract painting by white males. It feels distant today but one will remember the heyday of the likes of Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, Travess Smalley, Kasper Sonne and an era when the Swedish artist Ayan Farah felt part of a boys’ club as among the fewer emerging female artists championing and being championed for abstraction in art. At each of our gallery strolls in the Chelsea art district in NYC last year it ultimately got clear how much has changed since. Or just take the China town gallery district on Henry Street. With artists like Louis Fratino, Salman Toor, Jordan Casteel, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Amoako Boafo having paved way for a new generation of queer, non-white and diasporic figurative painters, and expanding massive space and scope for artists of figurative tradition, the makeup of the internatioal art scene is as most of us know very different today, be it that it is still more of the same domestically. That means, this huge shift in international art largely has been left unmirrored within the institutional realm in Sweden (a big question mark; wrong people sitting on the right chairs? Who knows?) We almost can’t believe we are saying it but us too are looking forward to a pendulum swinging closer back to abstract. In that regard abstract painter Anton Lind; a graduate of the Royal Academy of Arts of Copenhagen is one to watch for. We last caught a more modest presentation of his at the obscure and overlooked Vällingby ABC Konsthall around Stockholm but that was very convincing what we saw. The grand and deceptive breadth of his abstraction involves allusions to the Swedish master Gösta Adrian-Nilsson (GAN), something you rarely see in emerging art or his peers in Sweden, neither in abstraction nor figuration. Add to that as well whiffs and puffs of old-school Disney delineation hiding inside abstract clouds, and flirting with street art.
Ryan Nault, Zach's Fridge, Looking For An Onion, 2021, gouache and pencil on cardboard mounted to panel in artist frame. Installation view, Hand Painted Pictures, Mickey Gallery, 2021, Chicago
We’ve been going to Chicago every 8 weeks for the past 15 months, so only natural that we’d keep on the lookout while there. Figurative painting as per 2024 will surely start to feel very saturated and has so for a while now. Especially figurative painting with emphasis on bodies, even notwithstanding colour, is hard to strike you as particularly revitalizing in the present. Ryan Nault’s still lifes appear timeless, devoid of zeitgeisty trends. The artist has been seeing a busy exhibition schedule, including a recent group at Double Q Gallery in Hong Kong, curated by the prolific Italian curator Domenico de Chirico. Ryan Nault is connected to Mickey in Chicago; a must while in the "Windy City"
Caroline Wong, Tagliatelle, 2021-2022, pastel on paper. Image courtesy of Soy Capitán, Berlin
London-based Caroline Wong’s exhibition schedule, from Europe to US last year was intense, with representation by Soy Capitán in Berlin. Caroline was one of seven artists in the exhibition ”You Were Bigger Than the Sky, You Were More Than Just A Short Time” that we curated at Belenius in Stockholm last spring. Essentially all of the artists in that exhibition are artists to watch for this year. Caroline’s signature motif of women eating and enjoying camaraderie and festive times together, paired with a drawing style in pastel that echoes the old masters like Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard and the Intimists, allows her a distinctive identity that sets her apart from a legion of painters emerging right now. In April she returns to Stockholm for a solo this time with Belenius. Team Caroline cheer squad captains are all here for it.
Antonio Darden. Image courtesy of the artist
Antonio Darden is an Atlanta-based artist who as many others on the list had a busy exhibition schedule in 2023, with an upcoming exhibition at Swan Coach House Gallery in Atlanta. His work currently is gracing the cover of the new issue of The Georgia Review. His humorous sculpture with poignant societal subtext and/or denotation is the genre of sculpture that would be great to see more of, also locally. ”Our problems on earth are universal. Race is a construct. Satire is a vehicle. And grief, just is.”, the artist has said as food for thought.
London Williams is a last year MFA grad candidate of the school of art of Carnegie Mellon. While we unfortunately did not meet the artist during a guest critic visit back in April, but several of his school peers, we did see this very work above in the group exhibition ”Crusading the Specter” at Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC in July, curated by Shikeith. Drawings of graphite paper like this makes this division of art great again! Not that it was never not but for sure feels ”novel” before the eyes given the dominance of painting. Also locally in Sweden it’s impossible not to think of Jockum Nordström (represented by David Zwirner and Zeno X in Antwerp), so very nice to think of a more emerging generation of artists in connection to the canon instead.
Image: To the Beloved (2023), graphite on paper. Installation view, "Crusading the Specter", curated by Shikeith, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, 2023
Sally von Rosen, Reh, 2023, bronze, AT ODDS, installation view, Wentrup II, Berlin, 2023
Sally von Rosen
Swedish sculptor Sally von Rosen, based in Berlin, is currently presenting a solo exhibition ("At odds") at WENTRUP II in Berlin, having last year presented a solo at 3e Våningen in her hometown Gothenburg (at which venue we also curated a group exhibition in the context of GIBCA Extended, Gothenburg International Biennial of Art, in October). The sculptural form in “At Odds” excites in its arancophilic vibe, intersecting nods to Brancusi and Louise Bourgeois, mostly notably with a more contemporary frontrunner as per Camille Henrot. A kinship definitely comes to mind and this is where sculpture is arousing; where the boundaries between the classical and contemporary gets blurred, with neither one more dominant than the other. "The sculptures emphasize on the power that objects can exert on people and their social interactions, a topic inspired by Jane Bennet’s thoughts on Vibrant Matter and the political ecology of things.", she shares in connection to her ongoing exhibition on view through January 20.
Ashik & Koshik Zaman