5 artists on our radar in August 2022


Artistic Editorial

Artists on Our Radar is a monthly series produced by the Artsy team. Using our art expertise and access to Artsy data, we’re highlighting five artists that deserve our attention. To make our selections, we identified which artists have made an impact on Artsy in the past month through new galleries, exhibitions, auctions, art fairs, or new work.

B. 1991, Honolulu, Hawaii. Lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut.

Bhasha Chakrabarti, a recent Yale MFA graduate, uses textiles and mixed media to, as she puts it, ‘fix’ the relationships between society and the female self. In a recent artist statement, Chakrabarti explains: “By pulling a thread from this literal form of domestic repair to sew frays in the public realm, I seek to rethink societal wounds, clogs and scars as boundary spaces that propel us into a future outside moving can erase the past.” What is important here is darning – a form of mending that leaves the repair visible on the fabric or garment. Using the darning metaphor, Chakrabarti draws attention to both the need for social repair and the act of repair itself.

In other works, such as Ōlelo pā’ani (playful banter) (2019–22), Chakrabarti focuses on intimacy and togetherness. In this double-sided composition, the artist places two figures on strips of fabric sewn together to be both the medium and backdrop of the scene, a kitchen with colorful wallpaper, and perhaps a counter. The figures stand close together – toes touching – while one scolds the other, who turns away from the viewer in embarrassment. In playful banter there must be a sense of mutual trust and comfort between the two parties so that the tormentor does not actually offend the tormented who is empowered to tease back. It’s easy to imagine Chakrabarti’s spinning figure smiling and contemplating the best answer for her friend or family member.

Bhasha Chakrabarti’s work can currently be seen in the two-person show Heartbreak Picnic at the Grove Collective in London and the group show Vibrant Matters at Jeffrey Deitch in New York, curated by Melanie Kress. Her work was also recently featured in Fiber of my Being at Hales Gallery in New York.

– Isabelle Sakelaris

B. 1981, Brooklyn, New York. Lives and works in Los Angeles.

In her new solo exhibition “Duplex”, Samantha Roth deals with opposites such as inside versus outside, lightness versus darkness. Her eerie, narrative drawings, featured at Tyler Park Presents in Los Angeles, each rendered on paper with black chalk ground and vibrant colored pencils, suggest elements of life during the COVID-19 lockdown.

in the head to head (2021), the centerpiece of the show, Roth delves into the experience of living in a duplex apartment in the early months of the pandemic, just a thin wall from the strangers next door. The work shows a pair of bedrooms on either side of the neighbor’s partition. Neon blue hues collide with the inky black background, creating a sense of confusion, mystery and disorder. In the meantime, eavesdropper (2021) shows a figure pressing an ear to a wall, pretending to be listening to the neighbors on the other side. A ghostly, translucent arm encircles the listener’s body.

By exploring such spatial and conceptual boundaries, Roth conveys a sense of imprisonment and isolation. Their sparse interiors are filled with excitement.

Roth has an MFA from the University of Southern California and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has previously been shown at various Los Angeles galleries including La Loma Projects, Human Resources, 356 Mission and Klowden Mann, among others.

– Nawoon Yoon

B. 1980. Lives and works in Walden, New York.

Alessandro Keegan’s transcendent abstract paintings combine science and mysticism by capturing the essence of the natural world. Inspired by technology and the environment, the New York-based artist depicts complex systems of connecting lines and geometric shapes reminiscent of molecular structures.

Keegan’s detailed process begins with quick preliminary sketches. The artist then selects a color palette, primes their wood or canvas surface, carefully draws a final image, and applies oil paint. Keegan explores light and space with seductive color arrangements, meticulous brushwork and forms resembling crystals and liquid droplets.

in the dream pot (2022), for example, Keegan mixes blue and green pigments against a wooden panel to create a glittering, jewel-like effect. in the Under the psychic moon (2022), the artist gives depth to simple forms, transforming them into floating pyramids and spheres. The work depicts a moon with oval eyes, suggesting the symbiotic relationship between art and nature. “I think art becomes beautiful when it tries to steal some of nature’s perfection, and I think art becomes poignant when it doesn’t live up to nature’s perfection,” Keegan said in an interview Imprint magazine.

Keegan earned an MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in art history from Brooklyn College. In recent months his work has been featured in group shows at Asya Geisberg Gallery, Unit London, PRIOR Art Space and Waterhouse & Dodd.

– Adelola Gay

B. 1993, Stirling, Scotland. Lives and works in London.

Everyday realities and social norms experience inquisitive mirror distortions in the large-format paintings by Sophie Vallance Cantor. Postures become exaggerated and domestic cats turn into snarling tigers. in the THE FIGHT (2022) two staggering plump cats gnaw at each other. Though her bared teeth are intimidating, the painting embraces a playful vibe.

A neurodivergent artist, Cantor makes self-portraits charged with both a sense of knowing achievement and an unsettling air of voyeurism. in the Self-Portrait with a Blue Bathing Suit (2022), for example, the artist sits in the middle of the picture, but crosses her legs and stares shyly to the side. A similarly dark-haired figure strikes a confident, muscular pose LIFE IS A PARADE (2021). But a cheetah watches in the background, forcing us to wonder if the predator is just passing through or rather ignominiously looking for its next meal.

Cantor was educated at Camberwell College of the Arts in London and was a finalist for the 2019 Hopper Prize. Her most recent solo exhibition, Tiger Stripes and Smoke, was on view at London’s Guts Gallery last month. She has also held a solo exhibition at Aleph Contemporary in London and has participated in two-person and group exhibitions at Union Gallery in London, NBB Gallery in Berlin, Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh and Breach in Miami, among others.

– Brian P. Kelly

B. 1989, Toronto, Canada. Lives and works in Toronto.

With the stylization and precise staging of editorial photography, Jorian Charlton captures moments of self-confident self-portrayal. Her subjects, mostly black women, look straight into her lens. In a 2021 portrait, Toronto-based DJ and producer Bambii crouches on a clear surface, her surroundings lit in red, pink and green. The dramatic point of view and lighting create a captivating sense of power: Bambii appears poised to press her go-go boot-foot onto the viewer’s neck.

Other portraits are imbued with tenderness and connection, such as Sydne & Keverine (2020), whose subjects are related. The intimacy of the family photo album inspired Charlton’s exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario—her first solo show at the museum—where she presented her own portraits alongside decades-old photographs of her father. In unifying this cross-generational treasury of images, Charlton researched and archived the experiences of Black people in the diaspora—a constant preoccupation throughout her artistic practice.

Charlton received her bachelor’s degree in photography from Sheridan College, Ontario and has participated in group shows in Canada and France, including at Patel Brown in Toronto and Les Rencontres d’Arles. She is newly represented by Cooper Cole after the gallery presented her solo show I Am Woman earlier this year.

-Olivia Horn

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