Here are five fantastic artists whose work we liked last month.
Mary Ramsden, The dirtiest selfie at 50pt (part 1), 2015, acrylic on canvas
Seen at the Aspen Art Museum in her first solo museum exhibition, British artist Mary Ramsden presented a new series of paintings arranged in groupings that investigate associations between scale, imagery, and space. Expanding on her interest in social media and our daily interaction with technology, Ramsden's painterly, gestural marks echo the physical residue left when swiping the touch screen of a tablet or smart phone. Ramsden examines the playful zone between the painter's mark and the accidental smears of our screen-based world. She alludes to our relationship with the screen in our daily life and creates abstract compositions in which amoebic forms fuse with bold, gestural mark-making. Ramsden's practice is unapologetically painterly and her works are a testament to a commitment to painting as a progressive language that demands our attentive engagement.
Tony Oursler, Gold [Hypnotics], 2017, Color pencil, wood, resin, acrylic, media players, LED flat screens
In his first exhibition in Los Angeles in over a decade, Tony Oursler presents installations of three interconnected projects: My Saturnian Lover(s), Subz and Screens. Within these works Oursler is inspired by the visual and narrative ideas of speculative alien and human relationships to reveal our socially accepted belief systems. Oursler's investigations include murky histories of American UFO culture: its utopian beginnings in the 1940-50s and the dark shift towards abduction scenarios in the 1980-90s. Oursler uses historical examples that reference a belief in the unbelievable and act as a mirror in which to view our shifting society.
Tony Oursler, Emerald [Hypnotics], 2017, Wood, resin, acrylic, media players, LED flat screens
The Screens are based on drawings made by hypnotized "abductees" during the 1980-90s. In order to reconstruct these original "clinical trials" each subject was filmed under hypnosis with the resulting videos presenting isolated body parts which utter, flinch, lick, tap and twist without the influence of voluntary action. Oursler notes these performances attempt to reconnect the human authors with their depiction of their alien counterparts.
Featuring all new works, many of which were created on site, Theaster Gates' latest exhibition marks the artist's continued investigation into the relationship between visual politics, shamanism, and object making. The title of the exhibition, "But To Be a Poor Race", refers to American sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois' seminal work The Souls of Black Folk. Comprised of 14 essays that portray the genius and humanity of the Black race, this publication is considered an important work in sociology and African American literary history. Inspired by Du Bois' sociological studies on the advancements of Black Americans from the time of Emancipation to 1900, the exhibition features a series of response paintings in which the statistical data gathered and made visual by Du Bois has been reduced to abstract color fields and geometric motifs. Both an act of homage to Du Bois' sophisticated Modernism as well as a reference to the history of art, Gates' paintings give poetic form to the archival.
Theaster Gates, A Tussle in the House of Love, 2017, Latex and acrylic on aluminum panel
Uta Barth continues her career-long engagement with and exploration of visual perception. While her influences span the history of painting, sculpture and installation art, particularly that of Minimalism and the Light and Space movement native to her adopted home of Los Angeles, she has primarily employed the medium of photography, as she continues to be fascinated by the strong similarities and differences between camera vision and that of the human eye and mind.
Uta Barth, In the Light and Shadow of Morandi (17.05), 2017, Face mounted, raised, and shaped archival pigment print in artist frame
In her latest project, Barth is inspired by her love of Morandi's practice of rendering the same subjects in the same space and the tireless attention to the slightest changes of light and form. Barth's new images give off a new type of glowing luminosity and refract and reflect light, allowing it to spill onto the background as if it were liquid or paint. The unconventional shapes of these images is the result of photographing the shadow tableaux from extreme angles and then restoring a frontal view after the fact.
Embracing the events and incidents that arise as she paints, Grosse opens up surfaces and spaces to the countless perceptual possibilities of the medium. While she is widely known for her temporary and permanent in situ work, which she paints directly onto architecture, interiors, and landscapes, her approach begins in the studio. With calculated focus, she allows new patterns and procedures in her paintings to emerge from action, multiplying this potential with stencils cut from cardboard and thick foam-rubber tools with which to develop more cuts and layers.
Katharina Grosse, Untitled, 2016, acrylic on canvas
The paintings record her ongoing choices about color, density, and velocity.