Ed Atkins puts the horror in horror vacui. Working primarily in video and text although his installations can include works on paper that function as treatments or prologues-the 30-year-old Oxford-born artist makes compositions saturated with sensual information that paradoxically expresses the impossibility of representing the complexity of flesh.
At one point in James Richards's video collage series The Misty Suite (2009), the footage cuts back and forth between a scene of a young, bored Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) sketching and nodding off, an instructional film about drawing, and a sci-fi outer-space scene. Many of the 29-year-old Welsh-born artist's videos have a theme of school or instruction as if Richards is playing with the notion of appropriation as always pedantic or abstract.
Much has been made of the way in which Gillian Wearing's work anticipated social media. A renowned artist who was aligned with the YBAs in the '90s, but whose work was more socially directed, the 48-year-old Wearing makes portraits through fragmentary imagery and texts that test the emancipatory potential of public address.
"This is the last time fashion content enters my work," says K8 Hardy, who is, to date, best known for her zine, FashionFashion, as well as for related photographs in which the New York-based artist dresses up in humorous, mostly store-bought ("they aren't made"), and then reassembled, outfits.
Each time the artist Danh Vo sells a work through his gallery, the collector or institution is billed up to 100 euros, whereby they acquire a special handwritten letter. The project, 02.02.1861, [last letter of Saint Théophane Vénard to his father before he was decapitated] (2009– ), is a text in English translated to the French and copied out by Vo’s father, who speaks neither language.
With figures gnawed and slashed, blurred and speckled, Adrian Ghenie’s paintings involve the big ideas that transform men into larger-than-life emblems. Ghenie’s recent exhibition at Haunch of Venison in London featured humans wildly distorted and many with monkey features.
Remember when New York City was a place where the hopeful, the talented, and the lost came to get found, live cheaply, and become great (not just rich) artists? Well, it hasn’t seemed like that kind of place for a while, but a new young art scene is emerging in all the boroughs that is more excited about the city streets than the white walls of Chelsea.