Conventional wisdom holds that the bonanza of New York summer shows is little more than a sleepy pause before the fall season kicks into gear. But it’s also a terrific time to scout group exhibitions for the lesser-known talent on the cusp of wider recognition —artists who will, with any justice, soon be given their own solo-show spotlight in the city.
But don’t despair if you’ve been hiding out at the beach for the past two months: we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, we take a look at 12 discoveries—including a painter of video game aesthetics, a photographer of Elvis impersonators, and a sculptor inspired by seaweed—that the art world will be buzzing about before long.
B. 1980. LIVES AND WORKS IN LONDON.
SEEN AT: “THE CURATORS’ EGGS,” PAUL KASMIN GALLERY, 293 10TH AVENUE, NEW YORK, JUL. 12–AUG. 18, 2017.
Hornby’s untitled sculpture, a highlight of this 13-artist show, might remind you of a fragment of an ornately carved walnut table, albeit one that’s scaled for a giant. Look closer, and a mask may begin to appear amid the negative space at the piece’s front. Walk around to the sculpture’s side and, suddenly, the silhouette of a woman in a deep backbend emerges.
This visual puzzle is a multi-layered art-historical reference. Ve woman is a three-dimensional rendering of Henri Matisse’s cut-out Acrobat (1952). When Hornby doubled the rendering and arranged the two ?gures to meet at their respective midpoints, he found that the result looked, from the front, surprisingly similar to the mask in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).
“The concept comes from a story about the beginning of Modernism 100 years ago, when Picasso visited Matisse for tea,” he’s said, noting that the retelling isn’t entirely historically accurate. “Matisse had been collecting African masks and antiquity when Picasso found a Fang mask hanging on a wall and instantly fell in love with it. He was transfixed. Matisse let him take it home and two weeks later—inspired by this mask—Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), thus inventing Cubism and changing the course of visual art forever.”
Another version of this untitled work is installed through August 27 in “Sculpture (1504-2017),” part of the Glyndebourne Festival in East Sussex, England. It’s joined by nine companions that also pull extensively from the work of major sculptors. One riffs on Michelangelo’s David; others use stone that was quarried from the same Italian hills as that iconic masterpiece. But equal to his reverence for art history and interest in recon?guring it—whether in marble or via code—is Hornby’s desire to counter what he calls its “fairy tale—a reductive narrative from a Eurocentric male perspective.