New art, New York: continued

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Tauba Auerbach

New York art and artists now: Tauba Auerbach

Puzzles of the linguistic variety and optical conundrums form the basis of Tauba Auerbach's visual investigation into slippage and nuance within language and image.

The curlicues and flourishes of impressive hand-drawn calligraphy obfuscate textual meaning, but look spectacular; more recent works turn to the idiom of OpArt to literally play with the viewer's perceptions.

Auerbach's work, though sharing obvious qualities with graphic design, sits closer to conceptualism in its steadfast emphasis on the reading and interpretation of signs; captivating and intriguing at a visual level, it doubles as a methodical study of semiotic nuance.

New York art: Tauba Auerbach
images © Tauba Auerbach
 

Shinique Smith

New York artists: Shinique Smith

Credible fusions of urban and fine art are scarce (in our opinion, at least), and few as accomplished as the the work of Baltimore-born, Brooklyn-based Shinique Smith.

Flourishes of graffiti tinged with Japanese calligraphy are paired with striking assemblages of found items, clothing, fabrics and photographs.

New York art: Shinique Smith
images © Shinique Smith

Hip Hop and its history play an important role in Smith's work, not only as a visual idiom but as a personally nostalgic foray into the past referenced through t-shirts, posters and other ephemera.

Yet her installations are also concerned with popular culture in general, together with its impact on the shaping and portrayal of the everyday.

More recently, Smith has begun to focus on the excesses of contemporary lifestyles, a concern iterated through bundles of clothing stacked totemically in the gallery space.

 

Benjamin Degen

New York art now: Benjamin Degen

Ben Degen is something of an old-timer on the New York art scene, having exhibited since 2003.

Nevertheless, his intricate, folksy drawings and paintings are beginning to attract new audiences, both in New York and beyond.

Tightly rendered compositions reveal a dense, sensual world of bodies, objects and decorative marks; the lettering which frequently appears in his works is as much a compositional device as a textual one, both mirroring and adding to the visual clamour of his works.

New York art: Ben Degen
images © Benjamin Degen
 
 

Ara Peterson

current contemporary New York art and practice: Ara Peterson

For several years now Rhode Island artist Ara Peterson has been creating laser-cut wooden works ranging from wall-mounted reliefs to intricate sculptural objects.

Revisiting the eye-popping perceptual strategies of OpArt via recent technologies, the precision engineering that lies behind Peterson's practice both informs its tightly controlled geometries and enables its production.

The complexity of Peterson's designs are echoed by rhythmic waves of colour that simultaneously enhance and complicate form, an idiom that extends to the kaleidoscopic video works that form another strand of his practice.

New York art now: Ara Peterson
images © Ara Peterson
 

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