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 Ed Mirza - Artists to Follow

Keeping a Tab on Those Artists Today Pushing the Boundaries, and Sure to Excel by Merit in the Auction Houses

A selection from Thaddaeus Ropac, Gallery Gagosian, and Victoria Miro, from January, 2023

Miquel Barcelo - Thaddaeus Ropac

Doubtless, the impact of Picasso may be felt.  But where is he absent from the footnotes to art?  Here we have that ineffable quality of a honed line, making itself felt in tonal approaches.  There's an unabashed homage to Sumi painting in much of his art.  And in his case with the vegetative energy which may be felt within his work he is able to make it work.

What themes does he address?  Here we have inspiration from the natural world.  And here we have some resonances with cave painting.


Richard Longo - Thaddaeus Ropac

Marc Brandenberg - Thaddaeus Ropac

These are drawn from a particular set of elements by Marc Brandenberg, in which an approach using graphite is used, which also incorporate a photographic negative effect.  Perhaps such a photographic negative intimates a process if experiencing images in which the response is somewhat isolated from the true emotional impact of that scene.

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These are generally uncomfortable figures, displaced, and doubtful about their identity.  There is a theme incorporating clothing, as though this is seen as an instrument of acceptance, or almost a replacement for the figure, wherein they are seen in isolation.


These themes are genuinely troubled, and create a comforting spectacle, in that they are seen, and understood.

Adrian Ghenie - Thaddaeus Ropac

In Adrian Ghenie’s work, we may see again a reference to Cubism and Francis Bacon.  In his work we see this nightmarish quality, in which reality seems to burst asunder, and lumbering incongruous shapes, bulge forth from these centres of experience; and they reveal a tortured abject vegetative quality.  Even when bright colours are used, there is a lurid sense of kitsch against this unfolding ungainly masses, which speak of an Elephant Man like Existential stooge.

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Alvaro Barrington - Thaddaeus Ropac


Rachel Jones - Thaddaeus Ropac

Colours and forms combine, with a texture reminiscent of fabric.  The colours have some resonance with dies used on fabric.  She incorporates vaguely figurative elements, and often teeth as indicative of entry into the ‘interiority’ of experience.  These are sometimes about the experience of African life, clothing, flour, textiles and landscape..

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Harold Ankart - Gagosian

These are simple works, with a certain edginess.  They combine observational painting with imagined scenes and objects.


He also works with textures.  The appeal of these can be found in their colour schemes and dynamic quality and contrast.


Glen Brown - Gagosian

These are seamless works, in the sense of Jeff Koons.  This gives them a timeless, immemorial immersive quality.  And as Glen Brown himself said, he wanted to create another world.  Here he evokes the curious immersive world of 80s illustration, with its curious power to envelop the viewer into make believe, with such power that the make believe can threaten to overcome almost any reality.


Though he works often in the vain of reapropriation, he does so with such verve and seduction that these works are likely to endure.

John Currin - Gagosian

Currin uses traditional approaches and illustrative techniques to produce these works.  He actively seeks, often, to create an equilibrium, which he describes with his own words, between the grotesque and the beautiful.  His works seem to explore social taboos and social stereotypes, and often pornography.  In many instances, there is a bright, lively quality, making these a worthy addition to any collection, and distinctive, quite ironic voice, in the world of figurative painting.

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Jade Fadojutimi - Gagosian

She describes them as ‘environments’ and many forms are evoked.  They are quite dynamic, almost kinetic.  The textures are attractive.  Also incorporated are elements from Japan, as the artist travels frequently to this location.


Walton Ford - Gagosian

These complex images work on a range of registers.  Eliciting the curious world view of a world dominated by, and explored by science, and the curious exotic otherness with which animals are portrayed, and the saturated palate of illustrative publications, and with references to inaturalists’ illustrations and dioramas, scientific field studies, explorer’s accounts, and zookeeper’s manuals, as well as fables and mythology, historical art, and Hollywood movies, there is an ongoing narrative about the ways in which human identity and the narrative of the domestic human in relation to these artifacts of nature is mediated through these 2d representations.


Helen Frankenthaler - Gagosian

​​​Is a deceased artist coming out of the American Abstract expressionist school into ‘Colour Field Painting’.    These contrasts, tensions, colours, and the peculiar saturation offered by this method, all combine into arresting combinations and suggestions.


Hai Liang - Gagosian

These works draw on several literary sources.  Some of these are western.  There is a contradiction in the sense that a strong permanent ink is used many times on silk when often water soluble paints have traditionally been used.


The sense of illustration combined with this traditional medium creates an unusual hybrid, of ancient and modern.

Tetsuya Ishida - Gagosian

Depicted social issue in Japan.  He combined humans and a sense of self portrait often with cyborg limbs.  These transcend illustration in that so boldly embody the metaphors.  They are potentially quite disturbing, an speak with a frankness about what is often perceived as an extremely open and progressive society.


These have an authority, and originality reminiscent of Salvador Dali. 

Ali Banisadr - Victoria Miro

A synaeasthete, combining conflict and contemporary culture with references to a range of previous painterly approaches in his work.  Amongst many Heronymous Bosch stands out.


A very oblique method of figuration, again resonant of Bosch.

Maria Berrio - Victoria Miro

These generally focus on portrayal of women and femininity and different narratives.  Much of this involves her own ethnic status as Mexican and the experience of this in combination with life in America.  Nature, the home, female identity, are all characterised here, with a distinctive palate, and distinctive mark making.


Verne Dawson - Victoria Miro

I have chosen one work by Verne Dawson at Victoria Miro for this selection.  Verne Dawson incorporates a highly interesting vision in which he incoperates the ancient and prehistoric into contemporaneous expressions, creating a compelling, immemorial presence.


How an atomic explosion in a seemingly prehistoric unrecorded landscape finds its place can only be understood as evoking a sense in which the finality of an incident such as an atomic bomb resonates with the distant past, both in the sense of the concept of the ‘big bang’ but also the finality of the present as a witness to unwitnessed past - as is there anything without a witness - as the thought experiment of Shroedinger’s cat is commonly interpreted.

Inka Essenhigh - Victoria Miro

These are high gloss quite immersive works, which, in more recent instances, incorporate themes of nature, and fantasy.


They’re a cubist element, and something of the grotesque, as derived from Francis Bacon.


There’s a persistent connection with nature, and the oceanic, even in her more urban scenes.  Figures are commonly morphed into sprite like forms, again conjuring what seems to be a an enduring fascination with wood spirits and the silvine 


The seamless, glossy bubblegum style of painting is at odds with this, and as a foil highlights our strange uneasy relationship with nature, as beings, arguably not animals, in this world, it feels but not of it, as as media represented, visions of ourselves, meted out in the experience of time.

Doren Langberg - Victoria Miro

These observational pieces retain a suggestiveness and transparency of colour, so that an ethereal presence is generated, and in which the background merges somewhat with the subject.


This creates quite a relaxed feel.


The line is approaching some form of distinction.

Georg Pardo - Victoria Miro

Not only a painter, but fluid between genres. His work remains arresting..


Flora Yukhnovich - Victoria Miro

These have a distinctive pallette and are known to be derived from certain genres of painting, and in particular, those of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, François Boucher, Nicolas Lancret and Jean-Antoine Watteau.

These often give over the composition, and a somewhat rarified pallette, giving over a certain transperency.


These emphasis brush strokes, and colour, as are able to reappropriate some of these archaic painterly usages.


The figures are almost completely given over to abstraction in these works.

Sturtevant Estate - Thaddaeus Ropac

Working in the realm of appropriation, Sturtevant incorporates, taste, colour choice, humour.  These replications were supposedly made from memory.  Within the mind questions about originality and authorship are elicited.  They remain an arguing, and somewhat humorous counterpoint n the world of 2d mark making and art.

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Arakawa - Gagosian

An oblique practice, rooted in architectural drawing…  These engaging images, and colour schemes, habitually explore language and meaning.  He was part of the conceptual art movement in the 1960s.

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