Some new, some older, but all revealing and all wonderful — these five artists on our radar will keep you looking then keep you thinking & you’ll always come back for some more.
Ed van der Elsken was a dutch postwar photographer whose everyday and intimate vision in documentary photography, especially on love, art, jazz, and counterculture, has inspired many artists. According to Aperture magazine, Nan Goldin said of van der Elsken that “I realized I had just met my predecessor […] The feeling was similar to that of meeting a lover, or of finding a brother.” As the ‘Girl in the Subway, Tokyo’ shows, the distance between the camera and the subject itself has a certain kind of intimacy that’s hard to shake. And that’s what makes van der Elsken so magical.
Raymond Pettibon is the artist responsible for the four-bars designs of the notorious Californian punk rock band, Black Flag. His often comic and violent drawings resemble that of Ralph Steadman’s in spirit with a punk twist. While Pettibon is well-known for his album cover designs and black and white antiauthoritarian drawings, his watercolors of surfers and waves are also notable for their finesse.
Jane Hammond’s ‘dazzling paintings’ are works based on found photos, painted on mica sheets over reflective materials underneath. In an interview with Douglas Dreishpoon back in 2013, Hammond said: “When I talk to myself about my paintings, I always use this word jammed. It’s a reference to how each constituent element in the painting is coming from a disparate source, from another culture, from another time.” Though impossible to see through an online platform, these constituents change as one before the eyes of the viewer as they are subject to every particularities of lighting. Hammond is perhaps well-known for her collaboration with John Ashbury, who provided her with titles to her works, but her latest works are well worth paying attention to for their technical brilliance along with being an irresistible metaphor of sort.
A. K. Burns is an interdisciplinary artist who often addresses feminism, environmentalism, and transgender issues. Her latest work, Living Room (2017-ongoing) was filmed in the New Museum. The video moves from its basement into other interior spaces, treating “the entire building as both a stage and a metaphorical body.” Though Living Room is no doubt of great interest, what struck me was Burns’s ongoing work entitled The Poetry Parade, a feminist reading action wherein participants slowly walk through a museum’s permanent collection to periodically gather and read out loud. Past participants included the likes of Eileen Myles, Barbara Hammer, and Carolee Schneemann.
Aesthetically speaking, Bunny Rogers’s works embody the futuristic with what we’ve come to associate with the ’90s. Her series, Columbine Cafeteria, which deals with the collective memories of the 1999 school shooting in Colorado, was shown in a bare and stringent world she created in Gresspon gallery with colors and paintings reminiscent of the early internet era. Her eclectic reference points ranging from cartoons and young-adult novels to news incident add to the curiously haunting quality of her work. Her latest body of work will be on view at the Whitney this summer.