For more than a decade, Marina Adams has explored the relationships between color and form. In her acrylic-on-linen paintings, biomorphic forms dovetail, each structure distinguished by a solid field of color. Each painting has its own distinct palette, with diverse and unusual color combinations. While Adams sketches out her forms in charcoal before she paints, her work has an immediacy evidenced by loose, confident swathes of paint, where drips mark the canvases and bands of color overlap, creating a balance between organization and improvisation.
Hrair Sarkissian’s debut solo exhibition in the United States features three major works that explore how violence can be made invisible, histories of erasure and restitution, and the sediments of conflict. In one of the artist’s most recent works, Final Flight, 2018–19, Sarkissian investigates the story of the endangered northern bald ibis, one of the rarest birds in the world and the living descendants of birds depicted in the oldest Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Martine Gutierrez’s photographs and videos explore gender, race, class, and sexuality, as well as conventional ideals of beauty and identity as a social construct. Her most ambitious project to date, Indigenous Woman, 2018, is a glossy, 146-page publication that closely mirrors Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in form and production. Here, Gutierrez assumes the role of editor, writer, model, designer, ad executive, and photographer, with fictional advertising and high-fashion spreads where the artist continually reinvents herself throughout its pages.
Los Angeles–based artist Analia Saban (b. 1980, Buenos Aires) takes traditional artistic media, such as paint, marble, and canvas, and pushes their limits in inventive ways that merge scientific experimentation with artmaking. In her Draped Marble works, Saban bends slabs of marble to the brink of destruction. Arced over walnut sawhorses, the marble appears fragile and pliable.
The photographs of Ghent-based Dirk Braeckman (b. 1958, Eeklo, Belgium) have a distinct stillness and quietude that counter the whirl of today’s visual landscape. Images of empty, unidentifiable interiors, architectural details, oceans, and partially obscured nude figures are just some examples of the artist’s subject matter. Braeckman’s deeply gray photographs are often abstracted, contributing to the mystery and intrigue of what his images convey while adding a sense of distance to the intimate interiors and views he depicts.
Los Angeles-based artist and 2017 MacArthur Genius Fellow Njideka Akunyili Crosby draws upon her experience of moving from Nigeria to the United States while maintaining ties to her family in Africa and building relationships in America. Layers of paint, fabric, and photographic transfers not only energize the interiors and figures depicted in the artist’s works but serve as a metaphor for the complex merging of cultural backgrounds that contribute to Akunyili Crosby’s sense of self.
Spanning painting, sculpture, collage, and installation, Kamrooz Aram's work investigates the complex relationship between Western modernism and classical non-Western art. By highlighting their formal connections, he reveals the typically downplayed role that non-Western art and design have played in the development of modernism and its drive toward abstraction. Challenging the traditionally Euro-centric narrative established by art history, Aram's work sets forth to disrupt this perceived hierarchy by merging and equalizing Western and non-Western forms.
Nina Chanel Abney's paintings are visually frenetic, reflecting the fast-paced energy of life today. Her imagery refers to such diverse subjects as pop culture, world events, and art history in compositions with flattened, simplified forms. Abney's works commonly incorporate snippets of text, disembodied figures and silhouettes, and geometric abstract shapes. Themes that relate to American society, including celebrity culture, race, sexuality, and police brutality, are broached in her paintings.
Katherine Bradford is known for her vibrant palette and eccentric compositions. Often built up over months and sometimes years, Bradford’s paintings are textured, semi-transparent coats of acrylic paint, with hints of pentimenti exposed in the finished surface. Her recent works revisit several of her favored motifs, such as ships and swimmers—traditional and enduring subjects seen throughout art history. Bradford’s canvases, however, are more ominous, and often improbable in comparison to the relative calm of James McNeill Whistler’s paintings or Paul Cézanne’s portraits of bathers.
Katherine Bernhardt’s vibrant and youthful paintings hover between abstraction and figuration. Recently, she has been working on paintings in which she juxtaposes everyday objects, such as those in Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016, that float flatly atop lushly painted, solid grounds of color. Her subjects abound in popular and consumer culture and are depicted in a simplified, flat, gestural style that approaches a cartoonish quality.