Thursday night’s opening of Alex Gross’s “Future Tense” at Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York’s Chelsea district greeted viewers with a heavy dose of consumer culture. The exhibition initially comes off as accessible and playfully reflective of modern addictions, yet the works as a group are rather grim and much harder to swallow than their glossy, candy-colored exteriors would suggest.
Curated by artist Gromyko Semper, “Endangered Visions” is a group show with a wide breadth of artists but a short longevity. Set to premiere at ManilART, the Philippines’ largest annual art fair, October 15 through 19, the show features dozens of Filipino and international artists who work with surreal imagery, albeit in vastly different ways. “‘Endangered Visions’ seeks to counterbalance an art world driven by a rapacious market with something more contemplative, subtle and challenging,” said Semper in an email to Hi-Fructose. In addition to organizing the show, he will be one of the exhibiting artists alongside Jana Brike, Teiji Hayama, Kirsten Stingle and many others. Take a look at our preview below.
Idyllic paintings of daily life set centuries ago are spliced with a dystopian sci-fi fantasy in German artist Jakub Rozalski’s work. Nostalgic elements clash with futuristic ones as giant robots invade the European countryside. Soldiers, armed with rifles and on horseback, are powerless against the mechanical beasts. Unlike much sci-fi inspired work, Rozalski’s paintings have a painterly quality to them that evokes the loose expressiveness of Impressionism. He convincingly inserts the robots into scenes that would otherwise appear straight out of the late 19th or early 20th century, inviting viewers to imagine a starkly different version of history than the one we know today.
Though their styles differ, Hikari Shimoda (featured in HF Vol. 29) and Camilla D’Errico each use a fluorescent color palette and childlike, illustrative imagery to apprehend adult anxieties. The two artists teamed up for their two-person show “Niji Bambini” (which combines Japanese and Italian, the artists’ native tongues, to translate to “Rainbow Children”), opening at Brooklyn’s Cotton Candy Machine on October 10.
Sometimes life throws a wrench into our comfy plans and we’re faced with some big questions. As an artist, the question often is – do I quit and accept the defeat? Or, do I rise up triumphantly and make something beautiful to recapture this moment? Anthony Hurd is an artist that has learned to embrace the surprises in life as well as in his work, creating images that seem to arrive to us from some distant land. He depicts psychedelic landscapes of perilous beauty.
Los Angeles-based artist Alex Gross (featured in HF Vol. 21) recently completed a series of oil paintings and mixed-media works for his upcoming show, “Future Tense,” opening October 9 at NYC’s Jonathan LeVine Gallery. His bright new works utilize realist techniques with such perfectionism that his characters more closely resemble Photoshopped models in magazines than anyone we’d encounter in real life. This glossy look adds to the impact of Gross’s underlying cultural critique. Always plugged in and connected, his characters seem far from engaged in the present moment. While they pacify themselves with smartphones and junk food, their gazes look vacant and their happiness, fleeting.