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our international velvenoir art consultants share exclusive talents to watch out

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Enjoy today´s update on international career artists

PEDRO FRIEDEBERG (ITALY AND MEXICO, BORN 1936)

The sculptor and painter Pedro Friedeberg works in a richly detailed, surreal and eccentric artistic style that blends influences from neoclassical art, M.C. Escher and native Mesoamerican symbolism. He is best known for his Hand chair — a functional sculpture that is an icon of design-as-art. While Friedeberg’s sculptural pieces have a gentle character that is sometimes described as spiritual, his paintings are something entirely different. He employs a deep perspective to create hypnotic, painstakingly rendered canvases that suggest rooms and cityscapes. Whatever the medium, Friedeberg’s work is arresting and instantly recognizable. The Hand chair, though familiar, remains a captivating piece — both furniture and artwork — that stands apart in any interior.

 selected by Alexandra Schafer

AIDA MULUNEH (Ethiopia 1974)

Muluneh’s works express what it is to be an African woman, to encapsulate gender and identity, and to situate it within the colonial experience. She attempts to interrogate the foreign gaze and also to raise awareness of the impact of photography in shaping cultural perceptions. Her most recent series, The Memory of Hope, explores the optimism that once defined her youth. She recalls what it was like to embrace hope with excitement and confidence and to boldly claim a strong opinion regarding what was right and wrong in the world. The reality she discovered with age reflects a much darker side of humanity than she could have ever expected. Through the series, Muluneh aims to amplify what we try not to hear nor see. She makes us witnesses as she takes action.

 selected by Ines Valle

GRAHAM KUO (China 1948)

His artistic inheritance is embedded in abstraction but influenced by his cultural heritage and the influences of Chinese calligraphy and philosophy. Kuo’s work has long been described by critics and arts writers as being located at an intersection of Western art traditions and methods with Eastern philosophies and sensibilities, reflecting his preoccupation with effecting an aesthetic reconciliation between the Western abstract sensibility and a uniquely Chinese form of calligraphic mark-making, through a visual language of gestural, lyrical abstraction. The artist’s canvasses are awash with brilliant colour and articulated by sinuous gestural marks and this new body of work overflows once again with pure movement, beauty and sheer elegance. These pictures have a stillness and contemplativeness at their core which serves to heighten the bursts of colour and gesture contained therein. Kuo stands at the forefront of abstract expressionism in Australia.

selected by Jules Lambe

 

REBECCA KAUFMANN
A vast majority of people now prefer text messages to real-life interactions, indicating the extent to which social and personal disassociation is the new normal in a visual world where images on screens have become more compelling than objects in the real world. The slow, methodical process of painting exists in stark contrast to our rapid image consumption rates. In collaboration with analog video synthesis technology, Rebecca Kaufman generates glitched images to explore optical anomalies through traditional painting. Kaufman’s paintings reflect the dissociative realities and the somatic experience of the screen and its ability to launch us into a hypnotic trance.

Kaufman’s work also reflects the modernist concept of the active-versus-passive viewer. Painting often lends itself to a passive viewing experience. Kaufman disrupts passivity by using repetition and color to produce a powerful visual encounter that both repels and hypnotizes without consent. Experienced viscerally, the work demands a continued engagement between the eyes and the body, much like the addictive technologies we rely on today.

selected by Alexandra Ray

ALDO CHAPARRO / MEXICO

Aldo Chaparro (b.1965) is a Mexican/Peruvian artist whose work focuses in the use of sculpture and painting to explore form in post-industrial ways. He currently lives and works between Mexico City, New York, Madrid and Lima.  Chaparro explores form through void, matter and the human body using quick processes to transform prefabricated materials into unique objects. Using elements commonly used for construction, he creates forms in balance by manipulating and subtracting matter.

 selected by Claire Aliot-Soto 

Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota is known for her performative installations in which she weaves human-size webs from black thread, turning entire galleries into labyrinthine environments and often enclosing personal objects or even herself. Inspired by the installation and performance art of the 1970s, Shiota left Japan for Berlin to study under Marina Abramovic, whose influence can be seen in Shiota’s endurance-based performances like Try and Go Home (1998), in which the artist smeared her body with earth, entered a hole, and fasted for four days. Shiota’s work is also influenced by and aligned with that of Rebecca Horn, Ana Mendieta, Louise Bourgeois, and Eva Hesse, revealed in her use of materials and performative exploration of states of anxiety, oblivion, and remembering.

selected by Lou Anmella
Photo Credit: Chiharu Shiota exhibition view at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, 2017 – Photo Gabriel De La Chapelle

CANDIDA HÖFER / GERMANY

Candida Höfer is a German photographer best known for her large-scale color images of empty interiors. The artist focuses primarily on cultural and institutional spaces, including libraries, zoos, and opera houses. These spaces, often absent of or scarcely populated by human figures—as seen in her photobook Architecture of Absence (2004)—give each image an eerie monumentality. “Spaces may or may not invite the image—if they do, they mostly do it with their spatial layers of time,” she said of her work. “It is then the image that takes the place of the space; the image in its own right.” Born in Eberswalde, Germany in 1944, Höfer studied under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf with Thomas Struth and Axel Hütte. The Becher’s approach to photography as a conceptual tool in producing an archive of places, had a profound effect on Höfer and her peers. The artist currently lives and works in Cologne, Germany. Her works are held in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Hamburger Banhof in Berlin, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. Represented @seankellyny

 selected by Liz Yisun Kwon

EL ANATSUI / GHANA

A critically acclaimed mixed-media artist, El Anatsui gained worldwide recognition in the early 2000s for his shimmering, monumental wall hangings, visual feasts rich with associations to Africa, Europe, and America. These expansive sheets hung in undulating swags and blocky folds, are composed of countless bits of brightly coloured metal, the salvaged caps of liquor bottles, which Anatsui and his team form into shapes, then link together with copper wire. A cross between painting, tapestry, and sculpture, the hangings grew out of his earlier investigations into re-purposing scrap materials, with their attendant cultural associations. “The link between Africa, Europe, and America is very much part of what is behind my work with bottle caps,” Anatsui explains, referencing the fraught connection between the sale of slaves and liquor, and the transformative power of his art to link everyone involved in its creation.

selected by Catherine Asquith

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