Who? Brooklyn-based Emily Mae Smith (b. 1979) challenges canonical interpretations of femininity and figurative painting through a unique blend of Surrealism and Pop art. Her irresistibly glossy vignettes reimagine the female figure as a vaguely human broomstick, a riff on a traditional symbol of women's work, engaged in a variety of professional and leisure pursuits. The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Blanton Museum of Art, and The Consortium Museum count her work in their collections.
Recent exhibitions: The artist has just capped off an exhibit at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art. Her work is currently on view in Speculative Objects, at Rodolphe Janssen, through March 2021.
If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Yayoi Kusama, Elaine de Kooning, Salman Toor, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Katherine Bernhardt
Who? Michigan-born and Connecticut-based Titus Kaphar (b. 1976) draws on a long history of prejudice and injustice to create bold paintings that amend history. His works blend formal and contextual qualities, often overlaying acrylic with thick layers of tar, nestling figures in bustles of burlap, and obscuring objects and figures with white paint or cutouts of the canvas itself. Kaphar’s work appears in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
Recent exhibitions: Kaphar has garnered acclaim for his ongoing work The Jerome Project (My Loss), in which he paints gold-leaf portraits from prison mugshots before partially dipping them in thick black tar. Titus Kaphar: From a Tropical Space, at Gagosian New York, ended in December 2020.
If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Henry Taylor, George Condo, Jake & Dinos Chapman
Who? Baltimore-born and Brooklyn-based Derrick Adams (b. 1970) comments on both the representation and erasure of Black identities in urbane works that span painting, collage, performance and video. He completed a residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2019; one of his paintings subsequently appeared in Beyoncé’s highly celebrated visual album Black is King. The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Pizzuti Collection include his works in their collections.
Recent exhibitions: A traveling exhibit, Derrick Adams: Buoyant,at New York’s Hudson River Museum and Florida’s Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg in 2020.
If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Titus Kaphar, Salman Toor, Jammie Holmes, Tomoo Gokita, Henry Taylor, George Condo
Who? Self-taught painter Jammie Holmes (b. 1984) was born and raised in Thibidoux, Louisiana, an upbringing that heavily influences his paintings, of everyday Black life in the South. Drawing from photographic references, memories, tradition and story-telling, Holmes’ works — from the painful to the banal to the celebratory — are imbued with a deep sense of nostalgia.
Recent exhibitions: Detroit’s Library Street Collective held Anatomy: Jammie Holmes.The artist will next be featured in group shows at Deitch Projects and Marianne Boesky Gallery.
If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Derrick Adams, Martín Ramírez
Who? Pakistani-born, New York-based artist Salman Toor (b. 1983) paints intimate tableaux portraying the experiences as young, gay brown men in South Asia and New York. ‘Through painting, I try to conjure a world where people of color are equal and proud heirs to the humanist culture that hosts the freedoms that we enjoy in urban centers in the West,’ he says. His style deftly combines painting and illustration and a lush color palette.
Recent exhibitions: Toor’s first major museum exhibit in New York, Salman Toor: How Will I Know, on now at the Whitney Museum of American Art, was described as a ‘brilliant debut’ by Roberta Smith of the New York Times. The exhibit closes April 4, 2021.
If you like this artist you might also enjoy: Emily Mae Smith, Derrick Adams, George Condo, Jammie Holmes