Six of the best Anyone with a few million to burn can buy a Richter, but who are the hottest living artists that everyone doesn’t know about? Our columnist, a consultant to some of the world’s most prominent collectors, gives the lowdown on her hot half dozen LISA SCHIFF
Tal R is an Israeli-born, Danish artist who is often mistaken as German. His presence in Berlin and Düsseldorf seems to have overshadowed his actual roots in Copenhagen. I think this is important because much of what makes up Tal R’s paintings, drawings, or sculptures comes out of his personal experience in Denmark. One visit to the Tivoli Gardens and all of his figures come alive. While less known in North America, Tal has a line-up of European museum shows through 2017. He will be having his first New York show at Cheim & Read this November which should not be missed.
Sterling Ruby is not unknown; maybe he even has too much attention. Nonetheless, I think it’s worth mentioning because I think he still has a way to go. Sterling has been making interesting work in LA for at least a decade now, if not more, and it keeps on coming. Sometimes an artist can attract a certain market hype early on that can actually damage his or her career. This has been the case with Sterling, but he seems to be impervious to it. Sterling shows with Xavier Hufkens in Belgium and with Sprüth Magers in Berlin and London. He is currently considering several galleries for representation in the US.
Charline Von Heyl
Charline has been making great paintings for decades. Unfortunately, the first thing most people say about Charline is that she is Christopher Wool’s wife. At long last, those days are finally fading. One of the many difficulties in being a painter is to contribute something new to the history of the medium. It’s not easy to emerge with an original visual vocabulary, but Charline has done it and done it brilliantly. For the past few years, she has had back-to-back museum shows in both the US and Europe, and they are knockout shows. Sometimes it takes time to catch up with an artist’s vision. I have been looking at Charline’s work for years and finally, with her last show at the ICA Boston, I had my “aha” moment; I am catching up with her vision. The best news, the paintings are incredibly undervalued. At least for now, but I doubt for long. See Petzel Gallery in New York to learn more about her work.
Roe, I think, will emerge as the William Eggleston of this generation. Lately photography has taken a back seat to painting and sculpture, as the heyday of the big, glossy works of artists like Gursky and Struth seems to fade into the distance. Roe’s particular style never made it to the heights of fashion as did the former, and that appears to be a good thing as all the while he has been making consistently good work with consistently positive critical response. His prices have been kept fairly low over the years while the quality in production has remained high. I have been buying and selling his work for 10 years now and cannot wait to see where he is at in another 10 years. I am guessing he will go down in photo history as epic and I suspect he is now recession proof. Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York is where I bought my first photo in 2002 and it’s where I just bought the most recent.
Throughout the history of southern Californian art, certain major father figures have emerged – Baldessari, Ruscha, Opie, Zittel, Kelley, McCarthy, Pittman amongst others. It seems that young Alex has a good chance of sliding into one of these spots. His work is informed entirely by popular culture but particularly that of SoCal today and largely by Hollywood film culture. He makes art different than any other artist working today – i.e. faux talk show videos, sunglasses, paintings fabricated on the Warner Brothers’ lot, rented film props, etc. Alex’s work is already becoming difficult to access. Javier Peres in Berlin is the best way to find him.
Probably the best secret tip I could impart would be regarding Tavares. Born and raised in the Bahamas, he made his way via scholarship to RISD for his BFA and Yale for his MFA. Now based in NY, he makes art that is informed by science and that largely engages timely questions about man vs. nature and man’s place in the world. Unlike other black artists, Tavares is not focused on blackness as a subject; rather he is interested in the way travel, the Internet, and globalization have contributed to general displacement for any race. He reminds us of Gauguin’s famous work: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Although he does not have representation just yet, it’s almost impossible to obtain works by Tavares. Somehow those in the know have already made their way to his studio.
Lisa Schiff is principal of Schiff Fine Art schifff ineart.com