Contemporary art

Rising contemporary art stars from on and off the net

Outstanding new talent from the international art world, in the physical and digital realms

Cécile B. Evans

Visitors to the Serpentine Gallery’s website have this year been prompted to disclose all manner of personal information to Agnes (above), a “spambot” with an irritatingly cute voice who lives on the site and takes you on tangential journeys into the internet. This immersive and addictive, candy-coloured world is Evans’s creation for the Serpentine’s first digital commission. Meanwhile, in keeping with the “post-internet” aesthetic, the Belgian-American artist, who lives between London and Berlin, also creates installations fusing her internet-based works and sculpture, as in her show at Seventeen in London (until 6 December).


Prem Sahib

A recent graduate from the Royal Academy Schools in London, Sahib has appeared in the Gwangju Biennale and at Independent Projects in New York. He creates works that initially appear abstract and minimal but which subtly imply intimate connections with the body, and often aspects of queer culture, put together in atmospheric installations. A series of mirrored works are painstakingly studded with resin drops to evoke steam and sweat in a nightclub or changing room, for instance. In Sahib’s sculpture, even glimpses of form or material can carry a wealth of associations.


Jacolby Satterwhite

Satterwhite’s intermingling of video, 3D animation and performance art is characteristic of the flexibility of 21st-century art. In his contribution to the Whitney Biennial this year—including Reifying Desire 6, above—he fused video of his own dance movements with fantastical animations and 3D versions of drawings and texts made by his mother, who has schizophrenia. He calls the environments he creates “digital performances arenas”, which look like a particularly surreal take on computer gaming architecture. In keeping with the fast-moving nature of the work, Satterwhite calls on a dizzying wealth of references, from Picasso to Fluxus to the choreography of William Forsythe.


Slavs and Tatars

Shape-shifting and geographically marauding, this collective take as their subject “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China”. In keeping with that vast expanse, their work is hugely diverse, including “lecture-performances”, installations, sculpture and publications. Recent shows in Zurich, Leipzig and at the Dallas Museum of Art (“Concentrations 57”, above) have been notable for their absurdist take on sprawling research, loosely circulating around language, and exploring among other subjects the “mirrors for princes”—medieval self-help books for princes and kings—prompting a wealth of quasi-surrealist objects.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Rising Stars'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 263 December 2014