5 Artists on Our Radar in August 2023
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5 Artists on Our Radar in August 2023

Jan 08, 2024

“Artists on Our Radar” is a monthly series focused on five artists who have our attention. Utilizing our art expertise and Artsy data, we’ve determined which artists made an impact this past month through new gallery representation, exhibitions, auctions, art fairs, or fresh works on Artsy.

Tyler Eash (a.k.a. Loreum)’s multidisciplinary practice foregrounds aspects of identity—specifically, queerness, Indigeneity, and class—as a means of resisting the erasure of personal and ancestral histories. Though his background is in choreography, Eash’s practice now extends to sculpture, drawing, painting, film, music, poetry, and performance; still, he remains focused on the body, positioning it in opposition to colonialist, capitalist, and gender-normative influences.

Now based in London, the California-born artist is represented in the U.K. by NıCOLETTı. He had his first solo show at the gallery at the end of 2020, presenting a series of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and films that problematized the American dream. This month, he’s participating in the gallery’s presentation for Artsy’s Foundations fair with a trio of paintings, including the pensive Angel #3 (2023). The work is part of a series of cowhide paintings that reference rural California, where the artist spent part of his childhood with his Maidu and Modoc grandmother. Another solo show at NıCOLETTı is slated for later this year.

Eash completed degrees in theater, dance, and landscape architecture at the University of California, Davis, in 2011, and received his MFA from Goldsmiths in 2019. He has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

—Arun Kakar

Joana Galego’s paintings have the sketchy, elusive quality of memories revisited from a distance. Her subjects, rendered in loose gestures and shading, remain partially obscured within collage-like compositions that hint at multiple, interwoven narratives. But despite their mystery, there’s no missing the emotion in these works; the body language of their subjects hints at “power, vulnerability, miscommunication, loneliness, guilt, and the desire for connection and intimacy,” per the artist’s description.

These dynamics were at play in Galego’s recent solo show “Mole Lunar Sinal,” at the tastemaking London gallery Soho Revue. The title, made up of words in three different languages, references communication barriers and multiplicities of meaning. Throughout the show, thoughtful details draw out Galego’s themes. In right and wrong things that could happen more often (2023), for instance, a couple lays together in bed, their faces peaceful, with flecks of red and yellow suggesting soft, dappled sunlight. But one figure’s hands, folded in his lap, stand out, more carefully defined than the rest of his body. He is conspicuously not touching his partner, casting a shadow of emotional distance across the canvas.

Galego received a BA in painting from the University of Lisbon before completing postgraduate work at the Royal Drawing School in London, where she is now based. She has exhibited at numerous galleries across the city, including in a recent group show at Oliver Projects.

—Olivia Horn

In her innovative works that fuse textiles, printmaking, and sculpture, Bonolo Kavula deconstructs traditional materials and ways of thinking. After inheriting a shweshwe fabric dress from her late mother, Kavula began using the material, which colonizers brought to South Africa in the 19th century, in her mixed-media works. She cuts individual disks of shweshwe fabric, arranges them into patterns, and ties each piece together with thread, by hand. Once connected, the shweshwe clippings work with negative space to reveal mesmerizing, geometric abstractions that honor the artist’s personal history while leaving space for individual viewers’ interpretations.

Though Kavula’s recent works are primarily mixed-media sculptures, her practice also encompasses video, music, and print media. She earned a BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art (University of Cape Town) in 2014 and co-founded iQhiya, an artist collective, in 2015. Since then, Kavula has been awarded the Norval Foundation’s inaugural Sovereign African Art Prize, and in 2022, her solo show “Soft Landing” at SMAC was featured in Artforum. Currently, Kavula is included in SMAC’s Foundations presentation, exclusively on Artsy.

—Isabelle Sakelaris

There’s something weird going on in the works of Los Angeles–based painter Aryo Toh Djojo. His small-scale airbrushed works, which are executed in a meticulous, dreamy freehand, depict cinematic moments of American adolescence and sci-fi encounters. These themes were on show in Perrotin’s recent presentation of Toh Djojo’s work at Tokyo Gendai, in which a ghostly figure appeared on a pitch-black beach in Blank Expression, and a flicked-up middle finger rested on a car window in My Rules (both 2023).

Using the seductive codes of advertising and youth-obsessed media, Toh Djojo plays with notions of truth in his photorealistic, if blurry, canvases. In Fluoride in Our Tap (2022), which was shown as part of a group show at Sow & Tailor earlier this year, conspiracy theories loom over a monochrome suburban landscape: A UFO hovers unnervingly in the distance, while the title evokes distrust in a government-regulated water supply.

Toh Djojo received a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His work has been exhibited in solo shows at Stems Gallery in Brussels and Sow & Tailor in Los Angeles, and as part of group shows at Woaw, Perrotin, and Volery Gallery.

—Josie Thaddeus-Johns

Emily Wise’s palette may be the first thing you notice about her paintings, which are made up of electric blues, Barbie pinks, and velvety violets. Yet peering from within these shocks of color are female protagonists traversing mesmerizing, otherworldly terrains.

In her latest show, “Hands that Hold the Melting Rope,” on view at Chefas Projects through August 8th, Wises’s paintings portray a group of women who slip into an alternate realm while on a nighttime snack run to 7-Eleven. “That very night, the veil between worlds had thinned just long enough to rocket their bodies into some kind of ‘heaven’ not unlike this world,” Wise explained in a statement. “Marooned in this new existence with no ability or desire to go back, they begin to wonder if this place has always been there, waiting for them, within each other.” That sense of wonder echoes the mystical work of the artists that Wise credits as inspirations: Hilma af Klint, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo.

The Portland-based artist has exhibited across the West Coast and received her BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.

—Casey Lesser