In a world that is constantly shifting, how can an artist sustain their creative practice and create artwork that leaves a lasting impression? We look at 15 emerging European artists who are doing exactly that and more. These artists are making an impact in the art world by communicating their creative visions and in the process, challenging what art has been, what art can be moving forward. Defined as both growing and further becoming prominent, these on the rise artists from Europe provide a unique perspective into their cultures. They are pushing their artistic practices to communicate what is possible within the visual and conceptual spaces of art today, using their work to examine and communicate larger shared issues of mortality, relationship to time, and space.
Angela Dierks is a German artist living and working in the United Kingdom. Her compositions combine her strong interests in psychology and the psychoanalytic into abstract forms to communicate something more universal about the shared aspects of the human psyche. “Interior Journey” is a mixed media work composed with the overlay of materials. Through working with different viscosities on the surface, Dierks creates a compositional space where light seems to be coming out from small spots within the canvas. Optically, the viewer's gaze are pulled in and circled around before being released.
Maryline Beauplet-Dornic is a French artist living and working in Sotteville-lès-Rouen. She is inspired by numerous artists who have challenged the very nature of what it is to be a painter, such as Gerhard Richter who notoriously throughout his career, demonstrated fluency in a range of visual styles. The key to understanding Maryline's work - she is interested in the process of making as much as the final result of the work. This process-driven approach speaks both to the time that the image is made in as well as the variables of chance that are inherent in art and life itself. In her composition “Fragiles VI” she describes her process of making this dot image similar to a laboratory project. With a syringe, she drops paint into the surface and then proceeds to flatten out the paint by pressing into it with a fragile glass sheet.
Secil Erel is an artist born in Istanbul who currently lives and works in London. In her work “Territorial Aware 4”, the collaged composition seems to abstractly speak to the merging of two bodies, be that corporeal or spatial through the use of contrasting colors and the way that the collaged elements are placed together to form a new image or even a new perspective. Erel maintains an independent studio practice and is also interested in the potentials within community collaborative projects. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions across Europe and the United States.
Born and based in London, Sinta Tantra is a multidisciplinary artist working across painting and installation. Tantra has been included in numerous domestic and international exhibitions and additionally, has received commissions for public installations and site-specific murals. In her painting composition “Star Clock at Night II” abstractly speaks to the mechanics of the clock, while also alluding to the constellation placement of stars. Both the clock and the cosmos symbolically and literally have a relevance to all bodies.
Timothy Hon Hung Lee is an artist who grew up in London and Hong Kong and is currently based in London. In “Young Gods Run Free” Lee proposes that the abstract nature of the compositions in his work is his way of speaking to larger issues of the cyclical nature of life and death, and the fleeting yet effective nature of time itself. This theme is an interest examined in his other works. For example, the materiality of the rice paper on which Lee works is abstractly referring to the fragility of the body.
Seb Janiak is an artist living and working in Paris. His photography is constantly on the verge of emotion. The works are complex and conceptual, dealing with matter and illusion. For example, his composition “Liquid 5” calls into question the nature of reality and perception through the photographic capture of a moment of liquid and gas coming together. It seems like an impossible meeting of unlikely bodies, but astutely describes the seemingly impossible manifestations of reality that occur around us at any given moment.
Vikram Kushwah is an artist and fashion photographer. He grew up in Oxford and is currently based there. In his photographic work “The Twins & the Green Car 3” an ominous scene is depicted where a female figure is standing at the end of a densely wooded path and a cloud of blue smoke looms in behind her. Whimsical and eerie, it evokes the sensation of being lost in a physical location, or alternatively lost within a psychological space as in swept away in thoughts.
Joris Graaf is an artist born and living in the Netherlands. Inspired by abstract painting compositions, Graaf creates the illusion of continuing to be veiled through the movement of lines within the veil itself. He is interested conceptually in the chaos and order that occur in separate or simultaneous events, which are then integrated into his works. “Nostalgie Nr. 16” is an abstract photographic composition in which a colored background that is covered by a range of opaque layers of black.
Jan Kiss was born in Slovakia and is currently living in Finland. Trained in medicine, Kiss is interested in the human drive to create beauty through the medium of visual arts. Photography became the way to capture these fleeting moments of inspiration in the world around him. In his work “Game 2” a glimpse into a board game is given to the viewer evoking the feeling of the necessity to make a decision to move the game forward while also being aware that the time in which the photograph is being viewed is a time that also locates this game in the past. In leaving the concept of the work open for interpretation, Kiss hopes viewers will bring their own understanding and experiences to the works to find meaning for themselves.
Born and living in London, Petr Strnad is a multi-disciplinary artist working in painting, photography, and graphics. Strnad’s photographic work “So Near, So Far 7” is one that plays with depth and perspective. At first, the eye is drawn to the more approximate part of the composition and then is drawn to the background space. Are we witnessing a slow accumulation, or the reverse—is this actually a coming undone.
Milos Hronec is a painter born and living in Slovakia. His works focus on the theme of consumerism which he articulates through materialism and pop culture imagery. In his work “New Great House” a juxtaposition of visual elements, such as a man in a suit, tie, and party hat stands in front of what appears to be a picture-perfect house on a postcard. The visual effects in this composition are from the use of both oil and acrylic paints, spray paint, and digital printing.
Based in Berlin, Karin Goeppert is a self-taught artist, interested in the potential of abstract compositions to communicate phenomenon in nature that otherwise defies the words to fully describe them. Further, her compositions are abstractions of the natural world where she describes the essence of space to her viewers. In “Ingress” Goeppert captures the dynamic light and overlay of a dense forest space near a running body of water. This composition not only speaks to a natural landscape, but to the importance of the memories of such places that we hold in our minds.
Pechane is an artist born and living in Nevers, France. In the ink work “baie d’along,” Pechane depicts a boat afloat a body of water. Using SUMI-E technique, Pechane uses the history of this form of mark-making to describe a scene that may be real or fictive.
Simis Gatenio was born in Greece and continues to live and work there. Gatenio’s abstract ink and acrylic work “Architectural System Machine Organism 3” speaks to the orders of time which are visually emphasized in the layering of the forms in the composition. Of additional interest to Gatenio is the chaos inherent in cosmic space which is juxtaposed with a more ordered manifestation of space such as architectural ones among others.
Dmytriv Viktoriia, in working with abstract forms in painting is interested in provoking the viewer to make their own associations to the images. He acknowledges the array of possible interpretations through diversities in the viewer's psychological state. This is evidenced in his work “OK9,” an abstract composition with a foregrounded figure possessing multiple possibilities in its form as it references both organic and inorganic states. Born and based in Lviv, Ukraine Viktoriia has challenged the formal aspects of his work ranging from more figurative abstraction to graphical abstraction.
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