Friends with Benefits: Established Artists ID Next Art Stars

NEW YORK—In the competitive, exclusive world of fine art, emerging artists often rely on the kindness and support of more established artists who can open doors and help them gain exposure. At Lehmann Maupin on Chrystie Street “Friends with Benefits” is featuring work by up-and-coming talents who were recommended by Tony Oursler, Angel Otero, Tim Rollins, Mickalene Thomas, and Nari Ward—artists represented by the gallery.

While critically and commercially successful artists giving a nod to the next wave has long been common on an informal basis, the idea is increasingly being used as a curatorial concept for organizing gallery and museum shows.

Raw/Cooked at the Brooklyn Museum provides an opportunity for “under-the-radar” Brooklyn artists to present their first major museum exhibit. The participants are recommended by the program’s advisory board which is composed of artists such as Thomas, who was responsible for Heather Hart’s selection. Bedford-Stuyvesant-based Hart recently presented “The Eastern Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof off the Mother” at the museum.

In Washington, as “30 Americans,” an exhibition of work by African American artists from the Rubell Family Collection came to a close at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a related show opened in the city. Organized by upstart curator Lauren Gentile at her new art gallery Contemporary Wing, “Next Generation: Selections by Artists from the 30 Americans Collection” featured youngish artists—David Huffman, Cheryl Pope, Kira Lynn Harris, Wyatt Gallery—suggested by the likes of Thomas, Nick Cave and Gary Simmons, among others. Gentile spent nine months trying by any means necessary to get recommendations from them for the February 2012 exhibit. She eventually chose 12 participants (half of them black) who the established artists believe to be the next art stars.

“Friends with Benenfits,” a group show including Derrick Adams, Scott Andresen, David Antonio Cruz, Nicole Awai, Matias Cuevas, Max Galyon, Wilfredo Ortega, Linda Post, and Sebastien Vallejo, is on view at Lehmann Maupin from June 28 to Aug. 10, 2012.

Photos by Arts Observer

Above, “HEADS #14 (floor plan)” 2012 (mixed-media collage on paper) by Derrick Adams. Top of page, From left, “Green Death,” 2012 (oil paint, spray paint and acrylic medium on canvas) by Sebastian Vallejo.

Installation view. Far left, Color block installation (vinyl sheets and vinyl tape on wall) by Wilfredo Ortega.

Post Your Thoughts