Home Magazine Creating the future of the arts. 31 emerging artists 2020

In the universe of Contemporary Art teeming with established and arising artists that show their potential and talent, we help you discover the best artists around the globe (51 Most Popular Contemporary Artists and Top 30 Pop Art Artists!). Today, we want to highlight 31 impressive young artists who have already shaped this somewhat strange and perturbed 2020, which has seen a rise of virtual exhibitions and fairs, onlineand sharing platforms.

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Whether or not 2020 is the best year to be an emerging artist, these following 31 talents are nothing but adaptable. Even in the darkest of times, they, resiliently, work with their specific context, with the circumstances. “I do make work with the conditions, or through the conditions present” of a specific place or organization, as American artist Park Mc Arthur suggests.

Working with a wide variety of media - often alternating, kneading, subverting painting, sculpture, installation, video, performance, music - these artists are increasingly politicallyengaged, taking part tosocial-protestsand making gender, environmentally conscious statements. Some are included in the 2020 edition of ‘Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Art & Style, while others have just been represented by bigger galleries or risen to an international stage. What is certain is that all of them are shaping the imminent future.

1. Alteronce Gumby (1985, USA)

Alteronce Gumby’s use of color, texture in clay, light, through rich nuanced application of tonal changes directly with the artist’s fingers and hands, challenge the mind, the eye and stands out. His geometric, colorful and above all else, abstract paintings explores the very essence of Blackness as a rainbow of colors.


Alteronce Gumby, Black Star, 2019, Oil on panel, 137,1 cm x 177,8 cm (54x70in), Copyright The Artist.


2. Kate Cooper (1984, United Kingdom)

Kate Cooper’s use of CGI technology in her artistic practice surpasses a simple study of glitch textures to occupy a polished aesthetic, hyperrealistic space. Very interested in the political dimensions of the labor involved in the actual construction of art works and projects, she explores “the language of hypercapitalism".


Kate Cooper, Rigged (detail), 2014, Courtesy of Kate Cooper.


3. Tomm El-Saieh (1984,Haiti)

Tomm El-Saieh's work reflects both his Haitian, Palestinian, and Israeli heritage and Vodou imagery to create rich and intricate Modernist abstractionpaintings. A universal language, being able to transcend everything. Alternating saturation and non-saturation, blurriness and sharpness that animate the canvas, Tomm El-Saiehfavors‘all over’ composition of chromatic and rhythmic patterns.


Tomm El-Saieh, Reading (Detail), 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 72 inches. Courtesy of Central Fine, Miami Beach. Photo by Armando Vaquer.


4. Xuan Loc Xuan (1990, Vietnam)

The Ho Chi Minh City-based freelance illustrator Xuan Loc Xuan rendersportraits of adventurous animals, the ocean at night, idyllic things: the familiar images of Vietnam. In a range of vivid and melancholic scenes, she uses cold, dark colors and a minimal designto creates illustrated poems because “art changes life”. 

Xuan Loc Xuan, Blue Night, Giclée print of an original in digital, 8 x 10 inches (20,3 cm x 25,4 cm), © Xuan Loc Xuan.


5. Marilia Furman (1982, Brazil)

As a social critic, Marilia Furman investigates the universe of historical facts, political situations, news, cultural commodities and work through materials and mixedmedia. Iron, glass, wood and fire hammer, a 200w lamp compose most of her sculpture series. Brazil always appears as a theme, literally represented in accordance with aesthetic means and categories.


Installation view, Marilia Furman, wrong position, PSM, 2019.


6. Jonathan Wateridge (1972, Zambia)

Large scale paintings of staged plane crashes, imaginary movie set, animated posed groups - between fact and fiction and influenced by Manet, Goya, Rembrandt and Velasquez- define the artistry of the new star in British painting Jonathan Wateridge. Via conceptualism, filmmaking and even theatre, Wateridge creates hybrid, contemporary yet epic scenes.


Courtesy Jonathan Wateridge.


7. Jonathan Gardner (1982, Usa)

Young and talented Gardner is attracted to details and commonplace objects presented in a bold manner, between figurative and surrealism. Paintings reminiscent of the great era of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Fernand Léger. Optimistic visions of lascivious female nudes. Gardner credits the Memphis Group's "seductive use of geometry" as one of his influences.


Courtesy Jonathan Gardner and Mary Mary, Glasgow.


8. Lili Reynaud Dewar (1975, France)

French performance artist, Lili Reynaud Dewarconducts social and emotional experiments investigating the boundaries of biography and historical figures of transgression. Film, installation, performance, text and sculpture that comment on racial issues, queer and feminist themes, the gentrification brought by art institutions. 


Courtesy Lili Reynaud Dewar.


9. Samuel Jablon(1986, USA)

Artist and poet Samuel Jablon explores the discursivity and visuality of art and poetry, as well as the interconnection and possibilities of these forms: the tile, the paint, the poem. “Absolute truisms”, statements that complete the meaning of the painting in which Jablon changes the colors in the background and the surface almost daily.


Samuel Jablon, Whatever Happens This Is (2020). Oil And Acrylic On Canvas, 48 x 48 in, Courtesy the artist.


10. Clare Grill (1979, USA)

Like antique embroidery samplers, Clare Grill’s canvases present obsessive handiwork, gorgeous materiality, somber mood and feminine energy. “To make paintings requires utter attention and complete care. In a noisy world, it’s a radical act of being quiet, being open, and looking with eyes wide like it’s dark out”. 


Clare Grill, Eunice, 2020, oil on paper, 19 x 15 inches, Copyright The Artist.


11. Sanya Kantarovsky (1982, Russia)

Dark, corrosive humor and wild influences runs Sanya Kantarovsky’s work - surrealism and symbolism; Gauguin, Chagall, Matisse, and Blue Period Picasso; also folktales and cartoons and children’s books; figuration and abstraction. “Art has always been about the grime and pain and totally unfair contradictions of being alive”, Kantarovsky says.


Sanya Kantarovsky, Wet Hands, 2015. Oil, pastel, watercolor, and oil stick on canvas, 75 x 55 x 1-1/8 inches. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York, and Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London, and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.


12. Joshua Citarella (1987, USA)

Artist and researcher, Joshua Citarella studies online communities from New York Cities, concentrating on digital culture and advertising. In 2009, he started a Tumblrblog filled with strange images and an Etsyart store. A 2013 series of five Chromogenic still life with Nitroglycerin smudging the frame reveal the discomforting traps of image production today. 


Joshua Citarella, SWIM a Few Years From Now, 2017, C-prints, Dibond, 96 x 144”, Courtesy the artist.


13. Lucas Arruda (1983, Brazil)

Lucas Arruda’s research develops fundamentally around landscape through oil paintings, slide projections and light installations. He experiments with our capacity of living through the mediation of light and the gaze. Between abstraction and figuration, the construction and reconstruction of memory, materiality and sensations, Arruda’s atmospheres chase the fluid states of the mind.


Lucas Arruda, New York, Photo: Everton Ballardin, Courtesy of Mendes Wood Dm and David Zwirner.


14. Vaughn Spann (1992, USA)

Vaughn Spann locates his diverse subjects from deeply personal spaces, time and memory into explosive paintings in-between abstraction and figuration. Through his well-known stylistic separations,Spann continues to experiment with unconventional materials the reconciliation with his own body and the sociopolitical issues of American society. 


Vaughn Spann, Basking in the Wind, 2019. Photo by Matt Kroening. Image courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech, New York.


15. Jarrett and Jon Key (1991, USA)

Twin brothers and creative mavens Jon & Jarrett Key exemplify the marriage between art and activism for Black Lives Matter movement and queerness.They formed a collective called “Codify Art” through which they have done multi-disciplinary projects in crucial art spaces to “change the discourse, change the perceptions, bring a new idea to that space”.


Jon Key, Twins in the Violet Suit No. 3, Acrylic on Paper, 2018, Courtesy the artist.


16 Haroon Gunn-Salie (1989, South Africa)

Informed by post-apartheid and post-colonial South-Africa radicalism and violence, Haroon Gunn-Salie's works are mainly site-specific interventions or public art pieces, in a range of different media, made in dialogue with local communities. Gunn-Salie was recently picked up in Hans Ulrich Obrist project “89plus” which aims to bring together innovators in long-term, international, research project.


Haroon Gunn-Salie, Senzenina, 2018. Mixed media, installation view. Photo: Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio, Courtesy the artist.


17. Tunji Adeniyi-Jones (1992, United Kingdom)

Painter Tunji Adeniyi-Jones is invested in presenting his Yoruban heritage and personal reflection on West African aesthetics through idiosyncratic, contemporized, stylized figures and flora adornments. Repeated patterns in vibrant tones of androgynous lovers, masked deities, and regal animals dance and float in a glorious natural world.


Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Between The Red Vine, 2018, Oil on canvas, 70 x 56 inches, Courtesy the Nicelle Beauchene Gallery and the artist.


18. Julius Von Bismarck (1983, Germany)

The Berlin-based artist and master student of Olafur Eliasson Julius Von Bismarckcontinue to provoke with resistant art and explore what creates the greatest effect. His works - made in inhospitable places and on his own - influence our view as human beings in the world and our relationship with the environment, such as the forces of nature. 


Julius Von Bismarck, Egocentric System, Art Basel 2015, Courtesy the artist.


19. Martine Syms (1988, USA)

The title of “conceptual entrepreneur,” as Martine Syms calls herself, does seem to fit her versatile activity that includes video, performance and the helming of the Dominica publishing company. Shifting between writing, publishing, buying and accounting, in 2007 she wanted to open a business that today has become increasingly interested in contemporary art. 


Martine Syms, Installation view at Whitney Biennial, 2019, New York, Photo: Gregory Carideo, Courtesy the artist.


20. Aude Pariset (1983, France)

Between the digital and the handmade, Aude Pariset examines the void of authentic experiences in the fictionalized spaces. In her recent works, she enhances the codes and conventions of hospitality. In 2013, Pariset occupied The Palais de Tokyo (Paris) with an artisanal lighting installation made of cooked spaghetti over oven racks. 


Aude Pariset, Pasta Hostis, 2013, Courtesy of the artist and Sandy Brown London.


21. Guan Xiao (1983, China)

Guan Xiao epitomizes the next generation of artists from China, locally rooted and globally connected and immersed in our technology-fueled present. In herhighly experimental sculpture and video work, Guan juxtaposes traditional Chinese sculpted tree roots, 3D fabrications, and readymade industrial artifacts to create unsettling and humorous objects.


Guan Xiao, Lulubird slowly dipped her tongue into the ice cream, waited until it started buzzing., 2020, Courtesy the artist.


22. Cooper Jacoby (1989, USA)

In a work that continues to change in the most varied forms, Cooper Jacoby allude to the notion of circulation and its potential for strain, leak anddrain. He explores new materials categorized as “waste” that after-markets reanimate - like industrial Fordite shaped into pseudo-mineral rare jewelry. “Materials can be dramatized as raw evidence, more immediate than representation”.  


Cooper Jacoby, Heatsink, Glass, cast aluminum, aluminum foam, aluminum heat sinks, aluminum honey comb panel, epoxy resin, galvanized steel, magnets, 2017, Courtesy the artist.


23. Nick Farhi (1987, USA)

Nick Farhi’s charming and sophisticated palettes and methods of painting are known to be entirely his own and new. Drawings of wine stains made with oil paint refer to much deeper meanings. An emotional and magical celebration of romanticized subject matter, from the everyday to the sublime - like the act falling in love, activated with a commonly known line of western garb. 

Nick Farhi, Sweet Melissa, 2014, oil on linen, 30 x 24”, Courtesy Louis B. James Gallery and the artist.


24. Jadé Fadojutimi (1993, United Kingdom)

One of London’s best young artists – she’s the youngest person in the collection of the Tate - Jadé Fadojutimi presents ecstatic oceans of colour. An abyss of pink, purple, blue and green oil pastels which explode and crash against the viewer. The objects from which she draws inspiration are charged with energy, emotion and nostalgic pleasure. 


Jadé Fadojutimi - There exists a glorious world. Its name? The Land of Sustainable Burdens - 2020; oil and oil stick on canvas; 190 x 230 cm. Courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.


25. Thiago Rocha Pitta (1980, Brazil)

The "majestic and abject" work of the Brazilian artist Thiago Rocha Pitta gained the international spotlight from the 30th São Paulo Biennial. Fossil-like sculptural aesthetic with materic and primordial presence. A cement-coated curtain which leads to an underground passage, or a similar semi-nomadic structure both contemplative and intense. 


Thiago Rocha Pitta, L’ Eremo, 2013, iron, fabric, cement, soil, 290 x 443 x 540 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Gluck50. Ph. Adrianna Glaviano.


26. Ruairiadh O’Connell (1983, United Kingdom)

Ruairiadh O’Connell investigates the interstices between chemistry, physics, history and psychology. The element of “controlled accident" is at the core of his work: O’Connell combines steel and aluminum, wax and pigment, silicon and fabric, in the varied shapes, forms and patterns to draw out their instinctive relationships with each other and with their surroundings.


Ruairiadh O’Connell, Gotham Jubilee, 2019, Resin, Jesmonite, 24 1/8 × 17 3/4 in, 61.3 × 45.1 cm, Courtesy Jessica Silverman Gallery and the artist.


27. Yves Scherer (1987, Switzerland)

For Basel’s Parcours in 2015, Yves Scherer  presented Little Mermaid- a portrait of Emma Watson as a mermaid merged with the artist’s face. He isolates images from media technology, morphing his life with a fictionalized version as a celebrity. Scherer blurs the realms of private and public, making the porosity between the projection and what our life actually looks like manifest. 


Yves Scherer, Honey Moon, installation view, 2015, Courtesy the artist.


28. Ilana Harris-Babou (1991, USA)

Dissecting notions of the American Dream, sculptor and installation artist Ilana Harris-Babou often uses music videos, cooking shows ad home renovation television to reflect the ideas of intimacy, violence, and consumer culture. Her humorous, surreal and political “narrative of the anomaly” addresses the emancipation and equality of African-Americans in the United States.


Ilana Harris-Babou, still from Decision Fatigue, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


29. Grace Lynne Haynes (1993, USA)

Grace Lynne Haynes - the 27-Year-Old painterbehind ‘New Yorker' covers - celebrates the nuances of Black womanhood and thecomplexities of painting black skin: the balance between dark and light. “I like to challenge mainstream media. I want to break it apart and create a new reality”, says the artist. 


Grace Lynne Haynes, Sunday Mourning, gouache & mixed media on paper, 30 3/4×30 1/4, 2019, Courtesy the artist.


30. Park Mc Arthur (1984, USA)

The theme of access for individuals with disabilities and the tensions involved in its possibility are the fulcrum of Park Mc Arthur’sproduction. In the last few years, she has made sculptures, with sound or video and she wrote, using methodologies of critique, about dependency and autonomy, abundance and love, queerness and disability.


Park McArthur, Ramps, 2010-2014, installation view at ESSEX STREET, NewYork, 2014. Courtesy: the artist and ESSEX STREET, New York.


31. Max Frintrop (1982, Germany)

Max Frintrop’s “charged” large-scale paintings are open for the viewer so they can engage instinctively. His all colors abstract paintings are emotional, intellectual, influenced by Philip K. Dick’s trilogy ‘Valis’, dealing with melancholy, death, mental illness and the nature of perception. “I aim to achieve a natural elegance that seems effortless”.


Max Frintrop, Untitled (Aphex Twin), 2019, ink, acrylic, pigments on canvas, 220 x 170 cm, Courtesy of the artist, Berthold Pott Gallery.



Cover image: Tomm El-Saieh, Reading (Detail), 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 72 inches. Courtesy of Central Fine, Miami Beach. Photo by Armando Vaquer.

Written by Petra Chiodi

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