Edward Burkes | Stewart Easton | Akos Ezer | Louis Fratino | Simon Garcia Minaur| Henry Hussey | Holly Mills | Sebastian Neeb | Erik Olson | Kyung Hwa Shon | Etienne Zack
Contemporary Visions VII is BEERS London's seventh annual open-call group exhibition. This year, over 4,100 applicants were adjudicated Philly Adams, Senior Director Saatchi Gallery; Kurt Beers, Director of BEERS London & Author of ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’; Carlye Byron, Collector; Byzantia Harlow, Artist and Contemporary Visions VI finalist; Hugh Montgomery, Deputy Arts Editor and Writer with I News; Gemma Rolls-Bentley, Artsy UK Gallery Relations Liaison.
Since its inception, our Contemporary Visions group exhibition has sought to identify current trends in contemporary art. In this our seventh year, the exhibition will once again feature emerging artists that possess a strong point of view as well as an artistic practice that shows distinct promise.
A recent graduate of Fine Art at Falmouth University, Edward Burkes (born 1994, currently living and working in Worcester, UK) is paving the way to cement his position as one of the UK’s most sought-after young artists. Burkes’ art is a study on the everyday. By making use of a bright colour palette, the works become celebrations of commonplace situations such as, in his own words: ‘A friend drinking coffee, a buddy pulling up his socks, a pretty girl in the fruit and veg section of Tesco Express.’ Burkes uses the process of painting as a means to fracture and obscure these moments, allowing their distinctiveness to slip away.
His work has been showed at Mall Galleries, London, as a part of FBA Futures 2017, and The Other Art Fair, London, as a part of the Saatchi Invest in Art programme. Burkes was also shortlisted for the 2016 Bloomberg New Contemporaries.
Stewart Easton is one of the preeminent male textile artists working today. By combining elements of fine arts, illustration, and crafts such as embroidery, quilting and weaving, Easton’s often large-scale works form narratives deeply rooted in folk tradition. This, however, has not stopped him from exploring ways of bringing these more established methods and materials into a contemporary setting; Easton has created interactive works using touch-sensitive thread which allow the viewer to weave their own aural narratives by interacting with the works.
Solo and joint shows include ‘The Ballad of Colonel Cody’ with Nathaniel Mann; ‘The Next Verse’ at Shire Hall Gallery and A3 Projects (as a part of Supersonic festival 2015); and ‘Over Time Their Plight was Forgotten’ at Prick Your Finger, London. Group shows include ‘Pick me up London’ at Somerset House; ‘Monsters & Mischief’ at Bohunk institute, Nottingham; and ‘Yan Tan Tethera – Songs of Textile Folk’ at Cecil Sharp House.
Akos Ezer’s oil on canvas works depict scenes of people engaged in various actions, rarely working from photos or sketches. At first seeming harmless and twee, upon closer inspection the viewer notices more peculiar and macabre aspects of these moments; a pair of legs are spotted jutting out from a bush whilst a man digs a hole; a swarm of bees form the shape of a cowering figure; a man falls over a pile of logs onto his neck. These scenes seem at odds with the bright, cartoon-like colours and shapes that Ezer uses.
Born 1989 in Pécs, Hungary, Akos Ezer lives and works in Budapest. Over recent years he has shown in solo and group shows across his native country and further afield, including ‘Expedition in the backyard/Expedition im Hinterhof’, Tanja Pol Galerie, München, Germany; ‘Search’, Balassi Hungarian Institute, Praha, Czech Republic; ‘Tárgy-Eset’, Ateliers Pro Arts, Budapest, Hungary; and ‘The Idols fall’, Partizán Gallery and Residences, Budapest, Hungary. In 2016 he was awarded the K&H Artists Fellowship.
With support from the likes of Roberta Smith, Baltimore artist Louis Fratino is proving his worth as a preeminent up-and-coming painter. A celebration of the mundane, his paintings expertly frame memories that we may all share – a family gather around a table to eat burgers, figures study their reflections on a night-time train ride, cyclists stop to photograph their surroundings – and, through their poetic rendering onto canvas, invite the viewers to place themselves within the scenes.
Solo exhibitions include ‘With Everyone’, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, and ‘Reasons’, Platform Gallery, Baltimore. Group shows include ‘Human Condition’, Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center; Diamonds and Doughnuts, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington MA; and Love Tap, Current Space, Baltimore, MD.
Simon Garcia Minaur
Simon Garcia Minaur is one of a number of contemporary artists combining fine art with three-dimensional animation and elements of traditional filmmaking and cinematographic processes. Pushing through the boundaries of traditional cinema allows Minaur to install his work in multiple channels (is some instances ‘installing’ multiple channels into digitally constructed landscapes within a single video), transforming screens into sculptural forms. He is mainly concerned with constructing queer narratives that explore the cross-section between the human and the digital.
Born 1991 in Bilbao, Minaur currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He is a graduate of the MFA Studio Art at the San Francisco Art Institute. Exhibitions include ‘Get Lost’, Embark Gallery, San Francisco; ‘Artist Film Festival II’, The Bomb Factory, London; and ‘Bideodromo Festival, Bilbao, Spain.
Henry Hussey’s textile works are deeply personal, often being able to be read like diary entries with terse, laconic phrases interspersed amongst visual imagery. Hussey works closely with actors (such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Maxine Peake), employing them to stage performances that he studies closely and creates physical responses to though sketching and photography. These are then used as the basis for his works, giving him the unique ability to create visually arresting scenes through print, embroidery and beadwork. The tactile quality of fabric is integral to Hussey; he experiments with digital processes, and shapes and manipulates his materials in order to imbue life into them.
Henry Hussey is based in London, UK. He was exhibited as a part of the 2014 Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Other group and solo showings include ‘Reliquaries’, Gallery 8, London; ‘Multiple Choices’, Simmons & Simmons, London; ‘Anthology 2015’, Charlie Smith Gallery, London, and ‘Summer Exhibition 2014’, Royal Academy of Arts, London. He has been featured in publications such as Aesthetica and Floorr.
Kyung Hwa Shon
Korean artist Kyung Hwa refuses to be confined by the use of any particular medium, instead employing the use of text, moving image, photography, sound, sculpture and installation to inform and facilitate her explorations of psychogeography and the place of the individual within the urban landscape. Kyung seeks to pose open-ended questions to the viewer, sometimes choosing to display fragments of larger existing works. Kyung has lived and worked in a number of cities across the globe, and the peculiar cultures she experiences inspire her work.
Kyung Hwa Shon, born 1983, currently lives and works in London, and is studying for a PhD in painting at the Royal College of Art. Solo exhibitions include ‘WW Solo Award: The City of Fragments’, WW Contemporary Art, London Art Fair; ‘The Surface of the City and the Depth of the Psyche’, Alternative Space Loop, Seoul; Psychogeographic Contemporary Abstract Landscapes’, Seoul Olympic Museum of Art; and ‘Psychogeographic Abstract Landscape in London’, Royal Academy of Arts, London. Group exhibitions include ‘Paper, Publication, Performance’, Lychee One Gallery, London; ‘Stand a Little out of my Sun’, Atrium Space, Barbican Arts Group Trust, London; and ‘UK/RAINE: Emerging Artists from the UK and Ukraine’, Saatchi Gallery, London.
Working across painting, printmaking, illustration and textiles, Holly Mills draws influence from fictional narratives, remembered journeys and imagined destinations. An interest in the process of making is an integral part of Holly’s mixed media works on paper. With a childlike naivety and pervading sense of unease, inspiration from the drudgery of modern day life starkly contrasts with vivid paintings of foliage and pattern. Holly’s eclectic and experimental practise intends to evoke mood and atmosphere through the use of bold layered colour and intense scratched lines.
Holly Mills (B. 1990, London) lives and works in London. She graduated from Camberwell College of Arts with a BA in Illustration in 2012, the same year she won the V&A student illustrator of the year award. Selected exhibitions include The Jungle Book Club, Book Club, London; Secret 7” and Pick Me Up, Somerset House, London; Cluster Puck, Print Space, London; and V&A Illustration Awards, Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Although Sebastian Neeb’s paintings use Old Masterly techniques, his intention is not necessarily to pay homage to any classical artists, but rather to subvert the viewer’s expectations of the style by pairing it with his unique use of humour. Neeb admits that he uses humour as ‘a tool I choose intentionally to get a better and more direct access towards the spectator’. Similarly, his sculptures employ traditional techniques to comment on the freedom of the individual, with his ‘Trophy for Outstanding Performance Over Decades’ series awarding nonsensical accolades for actions such as ‘standing still straight’ and ‘spotting the obvious’.
Sebastien Neeb, born 1980 in Gustrow, lives and works in Berlin, where he has resided from a young age. He studied Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Berlin until 2009. Solo exhibitions include ‘Trust Us!’, maerzgalerie, Leipzig; ‘New Leader and Tulips in a Black Mirror’, Irmin Beck, Munich; ‘Hulk mit der Laubsäge gerettet’, Irmin Beck, Munich; and ‘History Eraser Button’, Berlin Art Projects, Berlin. Group exhibitions include ‘Praise and Trophy’, DZIALDOV, Berlin; ‘Paint Euphoria’, Maerzgalerie, Leipzig; and ‘New Painting from Germany’, Goethe Institut, Hanoi.
Erik Olson’s paintings are typically developed from responses to a singular field of colour, which he applies liberally to create bold, vivid works that unite abstract and figurative elements. His subjects are gleaned from a range of sources and are fragmented and reimagined before being reassembled into a harmonious whole. Olson frequently paints portraits of those close to him, the processes of abstraction that he employs becoming windows into his relationships with these figures.
Erik Olson is originally from Calgary, Canada, and currently lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany. He holds a BA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and between 2014 and 2015 was a guest student of Peter Doig at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Solo Exhibitions include ‘Portraits’, Michael Gibson Gallery, London, Canada; Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Calgary, Canada; and ‘Dusseldorfer’, BravinLee Programs, New York, USA. Group exhibitions include ‘Papier 16’, Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Montreal; ‘Launchpad’, Viviane Art Gallery, Calgary; ‘King Kong Crisis’, Galerie Golestani, Dusseldorf; and ‘BP Portrait Award’, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.
Etienne Zack’s paintings are often based on complex constructions and installations that he constructs in his studio. Dense and Escher-like, the familiar and the unknown collide together in a dreamlike mass of shape and line. The context within which the works are created is of great importance; Zack often uproots himself and his studio to different environments in order to displace himself from the familiar. This certainly translates in his paintings, with any concept of space being skewed and distorted.
Etienne Zack was born in Montreal in 1976 and currently lives and works between Vancouver and Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Solo exhibitions include ‘Autofill Handbook’, Vancouver; ‘Those Lacking Imagination Take Refuge in Reality’, Esker Foundation, Calgary; Wilding and Cran Gallery, Los Angeles, and ‘Etienne Zack: Aforementioned’, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver. Group Exhibitions include ‘The Meandering Line’, Schneiderei, Vienna; ‘Away: The Artist as Traveller’, Surrey Art Gallery, BC; ‘Oh, Canada!’ Confederation Centre for the Arts, Charlottetown; and ‘Out of Site: New Acquisitions’, Vancouver Art Gallery.