Sobbing knights and wild women abound in this month’s picks of the artists to keep an eye on, as chosen by the Elephant team.

Eden Seifu, One Day You Must Put Down Your Sword, 2018
Eden Seifu, One Day You Must Put Down Your Sword, 2018

Drawing/Painting: Eden Seifu

The tears in Eden Seifu’s paintings and illustrations glisten supernaturally as they run down the cheeks of her characters: knights in anguish, kings and queens, blue fairies and nude bathers—typically appearing in psychedelic fairytale scenes. Her application of paint is rich, and yet she manages to make it sparkle like a crystal shrine. At once influenced by the Western painting tradition and critical of its tendency only to humanize a select group of people, the figures in her works are afforded overt and intense emotions. Seifu’s paintings are featured in group show Lararium at New York’s Deli Gallery until the end of the month, alongside works by Erin Jane Nelson and ten other artists. (Rosalind Duguid)

Yuoning Chien, Thursday, 2019

Illustration/Graphic Design: Yuoning Chien

Taiwan-born, now New York-based illustrator and graphic designer Yuoning Chien wants to make you happy with her work, and she does. “Life gets stressful from time to time,” she says, and she aims for her design and illustration to act “as a form of relief and happiness”. There is a recurring motif of eyeballs throughout; whether in her depictions of a chaotic Hollywood scene or a simple series of images that delineate her week, with one created for each day (I love the particularly surreal depiction of Thursday.) Her practice takes in both illustration and design work such as editorial projects; book design; posters; icons. (Emily Gosling)

Sandra Lane, 2019
Sandra Lane, 2019

Sculpture: Sandra Lane

Sandra Lane grew up with the idea that women should be decorative—she’s spent much of her life since trying to get away from that and stop pleasing other people at all. Her sculptures, uncanny, edging into the comic and sliding into the grotesque, often return to the tropes and cliches of femininity—re-making oversized bows, sky high heels and other feminine frivolities—an act of both homage and subversion. Lane’s latest works will be showing in a two person show (alongside Bradley Wood), at Sim Smith’s new (ish) gallery in Camberwell in July. (Charlotte Jansen)

Maren Karlson, 2019
Maren Karlson, 2019

Drawing/Illustration: Maren Karlson

Wild women from cyberspace and beyond are conjured in the trippy work of German artist Maren Karlson, who seduce and snarl from their lurid landscapes, all rendered in coloured pencils. Karlson is based in Berlin, but makes use of the wide-ranging network of the Internet to collaborate with fellow artists around the world. Her latest work is included in an exhibition (opening today) at Melanie Flood Projects in Portland, Oregon, part of a spotlight on the local zine Free Spirit News. Inspired by radical and counterculture magazines, the zine offers irreverence and creativity as the “news of the spirit”. Playful and lo-fi, it draws upon a wide circle of contributors and friends, and perfectly captures the dark humour that Karlson infuses within her imagery. (Louise Benson)

Mohamed Bourouissa, Carré rouge, from the Périphérique series, 2005. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London. ADAGP (Paris) 2019
Mohamed Bourouissa, Carré rouge, from the Périphérique series, 2005. Courtesy of the artist and Kamel Mennour, Paris/London. ADAGP, Paris, 2019

Photography/VR: Mohamed Bourouissa

Among the many exhibitions that make up Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, this year is an exhibition titled Free Trade by Mohamed Bourouissa on the touchy topic of unemployment. In his works of the past fifteen years, Bourouissa has touched on such themes by looking at deprived areas—geographically and economically removed from the “centre”. This exhibition draws a parallel between the possession of knowledge and wealth and their relationship to image. What’s fascinating is the way Bourouissa uses photography to tell that story: hidden cameras, stolen and phone photography and virtual sculptures viewed through an app are all part of the narrative. Bourouissa’s own story is intertwined with that of his subjects. (Charlotte Jansen)

Erin Jane Nelson, Her Deepness at Atlanta Contemporary, 2019, install shot
Erin Jane Nelson, Her Deepness at Atlanta Contemporary, 2019, install shot

Ceramics/Textiles: Erin Jane Nelson

Atlanta-based Erin Jane Nelson’s quilts casually and playfully integrate photographs into fabrics, piecing them together with beads, leaves and pieces of jewellery. Last month Nelson exhibited at Art Basel in Chapter NY’s booth, and more recently she has turned to ceramics, transferring images onto them with a similar energy, which are currently exhibited in her solo show Her Deepness at Atlanta Contemporary, until 9 August. Nelson has spent the last few years travelling around the South East of the United States, to the barrier islands that are home to many of the country’s shipping ports and oil rigs. These works incorporate photographs from her travels, mementos of the complex and damaging relationship we have with our changing world. (Rosalind Duguid)

Zadie Xa, Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, 2019
Zadie Xa, Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, 2019

Performance/Painting/Textile/Video: Zadie Xa

From a performance at the Delfina Foundation performance programme at the fifty-eighth Venice Biennale, to her participation in Art Night, London, to a just-opened solo show at Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Zadie Xa is having quite the year. The Korean-Canadian artist often draws upon imagined and learned Korean folklore, transforming diasporic knowledge into new realities. Spanning video, performance, paintings and textile hangings, she builds an immersive world of mythologies and ancestral knowledge. In her latest exhibition, Child of Magohalmi and the Echos of Creation, she creates a sub-aquatic marine environment. Following its presentation in Azerbaijan, the exhibition will tour to Tramway, Glasgow (26 October – 16 December) and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (1 February – 4 May 2020). (Louise Benson)

Anthony Iacono, Jacket, 2019, courtesy Marinaro Gallery
Anthony Iacono, Jacket, 2019, courtesy Marinaro Gallery

Painting/Collage: Anthony Iacono

Cheeky, colourful and a hell of a lot of fun, Anthony Iacono’s work combines neat paper-cut collage and painting that often sees him take portraiture and figurative work into new, unexpected territories. His use of cropping—we might see just folded legs and a torso, for instance, or a jacket casually thrown over a shoulder—creates a sense of mystery and eroticism. Such framing makes the work feel intimate as well as playful; and the artist has said that he draws influence from both erotic thriller cinema and queer horror films. New York-born and based, Iacono is now represented by the Marinaro gallery in the city’s Lower East Side; and his work will be on show as part of the Upstairs Art Fair in the Hamptons, which runs from 19-21 July. (Emily Gosling)

 

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