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Enjoy today´s update on international career artists[/rs_special_text]
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[/rs_special_text]
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[/rs_special_text]
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
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[/rs_special_text]
selected by Claire Aliot-Soto [/rs_special_text]
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
selected by Liz Yisun Kwon[/rs_special_text]
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