There is an opinion that the artist’s works become valuable only after his/her death. However, contemporary art and artists managed to prove otherwise. We can draw strength and derive inspiration from their efforts, and their exhibitions touch upon the most urging challenges of the day. Therefore, the audience are made known of the pertinent issues that are currently happening around the world. Be sure to discover the top 3 modern artists, whose accomplishments are not only of artistic value, but also interesting to watch.
Jasper Johns, American Painter and Sculptor
Jasper Johns is distinguished by his originality. He is the author of not only bright paintings but also prints and sculptures. The mixture of different techniques adds further distinction to his masterpieces, thus making them different from the works of other artists. For instance, in his pieces of art, Johns often combines encaustics, oil painting and newspaper collage. And when working with sculptures, he can easily apply gypsum, as well as metal and wood. One of the first high profile works of Johns was the painting “Flag”, completed in 1955. This objet d’art has got a lot of attention due to the contrasting opinions concerning it. Some considered the work as “a manifestation of American imperialism”, while others traced the disrespect towards the American symbol. But there was none who remained indifferent.
The real success came to this artist after the appearance of another painting on the same subject matter. The painting “White Flag” was bought by the New York Metropolitan Museum. The transaction value has not yet been announced. John’s sculptures are unusual as well, he often looks for inspiration for his creation in ordinary household items. These can be light bulbs, flashlights, or even beer cans. For example, the sculpture “Beer Cans”, which was presented in 1960, was created without developing a special concept. The impetus for the creation was a joke heard by Johns that, if desired, the sculptor could even sell beer cans. The joke soon turned out to be true.
Lana Kaufman, Ukrainian Artist Featured as the Artist of the Year
Lana Kaufman is an impressionist painter. When creating her canvas, she applies various materials and techniques, be it oil, acryl or ink. Her paintings can be immediately recognized at any exhibition, due to the artist’s love for bright and pure colours. Her love for art was inculcated from a young age by her mother, who herself was an artist and taught the girl the fundamentals of this profession. The future artist received her first master’s degree in economics. In 2017, she received a second master’s degree, this time in a field closer to her – she graduated from the Academy of Culture and Arts Leadership with a degree in Fine Arts.
For several years of fruitful efforts, Lana Kaufman managed to participate in dozens of international exhibitions, both in Ukraine and abroad. Lana Kaufman draws inspiration for future artistic endeavours from nature. For example, the Crimea and the Crimean Mountains are her sources of power. She got used to travel since childhood, thus, at a young age discovering new cultures, national characteristics and traditions of different countries. She transferred all the memories of the places she visited to her canvases. They were shown to the general public in 2018 at the Museum of T.H. Shevchenko and were called “Sources of Power”. It took almost two years to prepare the whole work. The exhibition featured various landscapes of Lake Baikal, Cappadocia, the USA and England. Such a multiple and wide scattered geography did not prevent Lana from making each painting unique, and at the same time showing the spirit of each area depicted. In the same year, the artist’s “Atlanta” was demonstrated at the international exhibition Kyiv Art Fair. Thanks to her talent, in 2019 Lana Kaufman received the “Woman of the Third Millenium” award; a series of paintings “Pillars” in the author’s new interpretation was presented at the ceremony. The artist took part in the Vienna Ball twice – in 2018 and 2019. It should be noted that her painting became the most expensive lot of the charity auction at the Vienna Ball in Kyiv and was bought for UAH 100 thousand. In 2019, Lana Kaufman won the title of the Queen of the Vienna Ball.
Also, in 2019, Lana Kaufman’s works were presented at the Dialogues of Imagination exhibition in New York. Another important achievement of the artist was her participation in the Greek accent: Ukrainian vision art project, which took place in Greece.
In her art pieces, Lana Kaufman not only colourfully and vividly depicts diverse places in the world, she also supports various ideas of eco-activism. Lana’s painting entitled “House of the Seagull” adorns the hall of the Ministry for Environment and Protection of Lands and Sea of Italy. The artist’s works were presented at the international project Woman’s Essence from the Musa International ArtSpace Association under the auspices of the UNESCO Centre Bologna. The exhibition took place on September 9-11 in Rome, in the famous gallery space Palazzo Velli Expo. All artists whose attainments were presented at the exhibition, including Lana Kaufman, received special awards from UNESCO.
In 2020, under the leadership of Lana Kaufman, the Earthmate eco-festival was held in Kyiv. It united entrepreneurs, musicians and artists not indifferent to environmental issues. According to Lana, this eco-festival was very important to her. After all, it made it possible to tell the world about the conscious manifestation of oneself as a person like a part of the ecosystem. This was a chance to rethink the developments through art, saving the planet for future generations. The festival featured installations by over 20 artists. Her success in the creative field Lana Kaufman perfectly combines with her private life. Today, Lana Kaufman is not only a sought after artist but also a loving wife and mother of four children.
Pierre Huyghe, French Artist
The French artist Pierre Huyghe is rightfully considered a conceptualist of contemporary art. His works belong to the revolutionary aesthetics movement. Very often in his pieces of art, one can see fragments from films or cartoons. The artist even bought the right to use one of the characters from a Japanese company. If you love various technological delicacy, then the works of Pierre Huige will definitely be close to you.
Pierre Huyghe’s exhibition formats change frequently, but at the same time, they always surprise and delight. For example, at the Documenta 13 Biennale of Contemporary Art, he dug up the Karlsaue City Park and placed his installation “Unmade” there. The film “The Host and the Cloud”, was shot in the abandoned Paris Museum of Popular Traditions with the participation of museum workers, as well as the fantastic installation “After A Life Ahead”.
With his extensive creative career, Pierre managed to hold several dozens of private exhibitions and received four awards in the field of art, including the award from the Hugo Boss Prize in 2002 “for achievements in contemporary art”.
To view more of Pierre’s artwork, click here.
All images courtesy of artists.
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