If you are looking to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of art culture, Europe for sure is the place to be. The European artists, holding strong on the demanding and changing art market, are continuously producing works that influence the large audience worldwide. The younger generations of artists are continuing to push the boundaries, both in terms of materials and the subject matters. The mobility factor, globalization of the art scene, did create a certain big bubble under which most artists today fall under, but the need to label the background or the country of the artist’s origin is still important.
The European art, from its beginning, fascinated and dominated the world of art. In comparison to the American art, a number of the most influential art movements marked their birth on this vast continent. The dominance of the contemporary European artists is also evident in the art market today, variety of art fairs , and in the collections of the most influential galleries and museums, where the artists from Germany, Britain, Italy, Switzerland and France, prove to be a powerful and influential force.
This time, Top 10 list organized by Widewalls, brings you the ten European Artists you should follow, so, continue reading and enjoy the magic, provocation and the originality of their works.
Editors’ Tip: Contemporary Art: 200 of the World's Most Groundbreaking Artists
If contemporary art tickles your imagination and you want to keep to date with Who is Who in this vast and confusing art category, then this is the book for you. This book will become your guide, since it contains 200 of the most influential, most talented, and widely exhibited artists of today. Covering 40 years of creation, the list of artists featured in this book, ranges from Lucian Freud, Louise Bourgeois, and Jasper Johns to Ai WeiWei, Damien Hurst, Tracey Emin, just to name the few. Interesting biographies of the artist with the focus placed on their most influential works, with the cross-references to the linked themes, movements and other artists, make this book the essential insider’s guide to the International Art scene.
Featured image in slider: Dmitry Vrubel - Fraternal Kiss, Triptych. Image via i.huffpost.com. All images used for illustrative purposes only.
Constant Dullaart is the artist with whom our list of ten European artists begins. This Dutch artist, living and working in Berlin, has caused quite a stir with his most recent web-based project. Alongside two of his assistant, Dullaart has created over a thousands of fake Facebook profiles, using the names of Hessian solders-for-hire, who fought in the U.S Civil War. Exploring the Internet as the medium and a stage where his art exists, Dullaart attempts to comment and bring awareness to the technological structures that inform modern visual culture. This conceptual artist, also known for his work series Jennifer in Paradise, uses images and encrypted messages, commenting upon the digitalized world we all share, and continues to explore the limitations and possibilities of the Internet art and New Media art.
Featured image in slider: Constant Dullaart – Jennifer In Paradise, 2014. Image via carrollfletcher.com
Zuzanna Czebatul, works across a range of different medium. Her installation work, calls upon the engagement of all the public’s senses, and her drawings are often created by the manipulation of the frames for the creation of the beautiful images. The transformer of space, Czebatul is known for her installation work that alters the gallery space into something of a dystopian lounge, evident in her installation work A Fruity Mechanical Treat. Taking inspiration from life itself, the artist comments upon and blurs the lines between commercial product, architectural relic, and art object. Czebatul presents in her work desire, desperation and hedonistic fatigue.
Featured image in slider: : Zuzanna Czebatul - The Silent Kingmaker, 2016, Epoxy resin, pigments, steel, lacquer, 118 x 42 x 42 cm (detail). Image via schmidthandrup.com
Andreas Gursky is a photographer best known for his colorful, bold, large-format depictions of contemporary life. Similar in scope to the landscape paintings, Gursky’s photographs capture built and natural environments. Studying under Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf whose penchant for systematically documenting buildings and industrial machinery is thought to have influenced the photography aesthetics, Gursky’s early works were heavily influenced by this conceptual aesthetics philosophy. The move and the birth of his own style, developed with the artists production of large-scale photographs with an almost-manic documentation of detail. Today, his work continues to depict scenes from immediately recognizable spaces, ranging from images f department stores, football fields, to the German Parliament and the Chicago Board of Trade.
Featured image in slider: Andreas Gursky – Rhein II, 1999. Image via c4gallery.com
David Ostrowski attempts to discover the limits of painting with the creation of his widely known abstract paintings that largely relay on the use of the reduced color palette and the painted surface created with multiple layering of paint, focusing on the errors and the imperfection. His acclaimed paintings, reduced to almost nothingness, with the dominating large areas of white, reveal the profound focus of the artist on the exploration of the painting medium. This abstraction and the minimalistic character, challenge the audience and act as a mirror for reflection. Using the material that he finds in his studio, like newspaper, stripes of wood or dirt, Ostrowski creates monumental pieces depicting the vast emptiness, lack of motivation but also the beauty, as the most crucial element.
Featured image in slider: David-Ostrowski - F (Auch die schönste Frau ist an den Füßen zu Ende), 2010. Image via cdn.peresprojects.com
Carrie Reichardt is marking the half mark of our list of ten European artists. This contemporary artist is best known for her mosaics and ceramics works. One of the leading figures of the Craftivism movement, Carrie uses murals, ceramics, screen-printing and graphic design in her work. Producing and designing large mural pieces, Carrie focuses on the educational element that aims to celebrate and empower different local communities. The message and the politically charged pieces and artists who use and manipulate a certain skill with a reason, are the artists and pieces that Carrie admires. Using her skills to implement change, her viewpoints and her humor are the tools that this artist uses for the creation of her witty yet socially aware pieces.
Featured image in slider: Carrie Reichardt – Mad in England – Riot On. Image via lawrencealkingallery.com
Ahmet Ögüt is a conceptual artist working across many different media, including video, photography, installation, drawing and prints. His socially engaged works brought this Turkish artist, living and working in Amsterdam, international recognition that culminated in the representation of this artist's work as part of a group show in the Pavilion of Turkey during the 53rd Venice Biennale. Ögüt frequently uses humor to address complex issue, mixing loose narratives that connect collective memories, local histories and cultural identities. Using everyday life, the artist uses the symptoms of social and political ideologies, systems and histories to produce ambiguous projects that enact subtle shifts in perspectives. With his work, the artist challenges not only the systems of everyday life but also the importance and the role of an artist for the creation of change and awakening of the critical consciousness.
Featured image in slider: Ahmet Ögüt - Bakunin's Barricade, view from Van Abbemuseum, 2015, detail. Image-via-ahmetogut.com
Alisa Baremboym is the seventh artist on our list. Exploring the sculpture and installation medium, Baremboym’s works explore ideas surrounding manufacturing, technology, and the female body. Raising questions about mass produce and the relationships with the machines, at a first glance, the artist's work, for most, is quite perplexing. The choice of the materials is unique and the artist confronts her viewers with objects that are both recognizable and at the same time confusing. Working with a range of unlikely materials, including silk, ceramic, plastic, steel and petroleum-based emollient gel, the artist’s sculptures erase the separation between the organic and synthetic, articulating and commenting upon an increasingly porous relationship between our bodies and the industrial substances we surround ourselves with.
Featured image in slider: Alisa Baremboym - Leakage Industries - Clear Conduit. Image via we-find-wildness.com
Angela Bulloch’s work spans many forms but they all showcase the artist’s interest in systems, patterns and rules, and the creative territory between mathematics and aesthetics. The artist’s ‘pixel boxes’ have become her most familiar component but her works also include interventions on the walls of the galleries with the use of the machine that draws vertical or horizontal lines according to some external stimulus. The simplicity of the form does not indicate the simplicity of the technology used for the production of some of her pieces that in most cases challenge the viewer’s perception and welcomes the interaction. In her recent work, Bulloch studies how does the interaction with objects, structures and motivates our movement in space, challenging the understanding of the space. The highly digitalized surrounding and the overgrowing control systems are the preoccupation for this artist’s that is constantly examining the pre-existing sign systems.
Featured image in slider: Angela Bulloch – Exhibition - Space Fiction Object. Installation view at Eva Presenhuber. Image via contemporaryartdaily.com
If you got worried that we forgot about the painting medium, check out the works of the young artist Mary Ramsden, number nine on our list. The placing of the artist is by no means an indication of the quality of her works. A recent Royal Academy School graduate, Ramsden already has the Tate Britain as one of the venues where her abstract paintings where presented. As part of a group show, the artist’s abstract works stood out due to the strong, gestural nature of her often monochrome paintings. Fusing bold mark-making with amoebic forms, the artist’s paintings are boldly painterly. Refusing any reference readings, the artist creates painted objects whose compositional unity belies the complexity of their making.
Featured image in slider: Mary Ramsden - *hurls not girls, 2015. Image via pilarcorrias.com
We have decided to finish off the list with yet another artist of the younger generation. The British artist Ed Fornieles, similarly to the artist that opened our list today, investigates the space and the real subject in relation to the Internet image and the Internet reality. Examining the relationship between the URL (online) and the IRL (In Real Life), Fornieles uses a range of medium, including film, interventions, installations, painting and sculpture. His latest project sees him replacing himself with the animated fox named Ed. The artist uses his work to comment upon the loss of identity and at the same time with his paintings references in his title the values of the past. Questioning the world around him, Fornieles attempts to understand the dominance of technology.
Featured image in slider: Ed Fornieles – Modern Family, 2014. Image via news.artnet.com