ART & DESIGN

Sebastian Black: Star Material

This young artist is digging deep and stirring things up.


Every so often, Sebastian Black transforms hisBrooklyn studio into an exhibition space, wherehe has shown work by Viola Yesiltac and JacobKassay. He calls the gallery Malraux’s Place—“as in Melrose,” says the 29-year-old artist. “Nobody gets it.” Whether it’s studio or gallery, the French theoristAndré Malraux or Heather Locklear, with Black, things are always open to interpretation. What havebecome known as his puppy paintings—mosaicsof puzzle-piece-like shapes that suggest droopyfaces with long ears—are actually thickly paintedRorschachian illusions: Is it a dog, or is it a female nude, or is it a geometric color study in homageto Josef Albers? Last year, at a show at Brooklyn’s Clearing gallery, he paired the works with filmy clothes designed by his girlfriend, India Donaldson—“costumes, to make you into a puppy painting,” Black says. And recently, at the Los Angeles galleryCherry and Martin, he teamed them with smaller gouache works on paper—some made using old press releases, with fragments of letterhead and text still visible—that for him were places to put all the symbolic refuse that has been scrubbed off the larger canvases. “Things overlap,” he says. “It’s just a fact of existence.”

Installation view of Black’s Period Piece (Partition) 2 and Edible Manhattan, 2013. Courtesy of Clearing gallery.

Star Material

“Everyone who really responds to the work talks about playing with sand at the beach.” -Jennifer Guidi. Read more from this up-and-coming artist here. Photograph by Ramona Trent.

Guidi’s Untitled (Field #10 Black & White), 2014. Courtesy of artist.

“The art objects have a sort of aliveness to them. They change the sonics of the room, and it maybe becomes a little more immersive.” -Kevin Beasley. Read more from this up-and-coming artist here.

Photographer: Biel Parklee

Beasley’s Katies’, 2014. Courtesy of Jen Vong.

“No rules,” says Lena Henke of her practice. “For fun, I work.” Read more from this up-and-coming artist here.

Photographer: Biel Parklee

Installation view of Henke’s Geburt und Familie, 2013. Courtesy of artist and Galerie Parisa Kind.

“Things overlap. It’s just a fact of existence.” -Sebastian Black. Read more from this up-and-coming artist here.

Sebastian Black’s Big Green, 2013. Courtesy of Clearing gallery.

Installation view of Black’s Period Piece (Partition) 2 and Edible Manhattan, 2013. Courtesy of Clearing gallery.

“I don’t have any connection to anything I make.” -Ryan Estep. Read more from this up-and-coming artist here.

Courtesy of the artist.

Installation view of Untitled Iron Oxide, Soap, Lemons, 2014. Courtesy of Ellis King Gallery, Dublin.

“The place where the thing gets fucked up—that’s the moment of beauty.” – Will Boone. Read more from this up-and-coming artist here.

Portrait by Stephanie Boone.

Boone’s Soldier, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Karma.

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