On the Cover:
Millicent Young, predator, 2014. Grapevine and horsehair, 90 x 118 x 40 in. Photo: Michael Bailey.
In an engrossing interview this month, Jes Fan says, “I don’t want my identity to hyphenate the work I do or my status as an artist. In so much of the art world now, the artist becomes the spectacle and also the content of the work. I’m not interested in that.” Although he may be correct about many of today’s artists, none of those featured in this issue puts identity or personality before the work. With food, nylons, and furniture, Sarah Lucas pokes fun at gender roles, while Berlinde De Bruyckere, interviewed here by Elizabeth Fullerton, considers the dissolution of identity in death. Indeed, like Fan many of the artists we cover this month foreground the natural world beyond them rather than themselves. Martha Russo’s ceramic abstractions call to mind such biological entities as eyeballs and snails. Lyrical and delicate, Millicent Young’s recent abstract pieces employ horsehair and tree branches. As Guillaume Leblon explains in an interview here, he often brings “things from outside—natural elements—into the studio,” where he combines them with various materials to create pieces that suggest spatial narratives.
Though none of these artists puts themselves in the spotlight, I’m sure you will agree that their efforts express their unique sensibilities. In other words, their collective voice seems to say, there’s more than one way to sign a work. —Daniel Kunitz