12 to Watch in 2012: Publisher’s Picks

2011 was a strong year for the ever-resilient medium of painting as artists continued to push the idea of just what a painting can be in terms of materials, scale and subject. I expect that 2012 will be no different. Over the past twelve months I visited hundreds of gallery exhibitions and did dozens of studio visits. Because of New American Paintings, I was also privileged to review the work of the more than 5,000 artists who applied to our competitions in 2011. In short, I looked at a lot of painting, and still, I regularly came across artists whose work took me somewhere completely new. - View the complete list of our 12 to watch in 2012 after the jump!


Forrest Bess | Untitled, 9 x 12 inches. Private Collection.

I could have easily expanded the following list of Artists to Watch in 2012, but these artists—for various reasons—made a particularly strong impression upon me in 2011.  Among them is one deceased artist, Forrest Bess, whose quiet influence on a new generation of painters is just beginning to be understood. Also on the list is Dona Nelson, a mid-career painter whose work I have long admired; in my mind, she is one of the most underrated mid-career artists working today, with the possible exception of Jessica Stockholder and a handful of others. As of yesterday, the cat is out of the bag, as someone leaked the 2012 Whitney Biennial’s artist roster. Only six painters are included this time around, including the already mentioned Forrest Bess, and another of my picks, Andrew Masullo, whose intimate, hard-won paintings have made him someone to watch for more than two decades. Dave Miko was a new, late year discovery for me. I came across a lone painting by him at the NADA Art Fair in Miami only three weeks ago and was riveted; only ten feet away at Eleven Rivington’s booth I was pleased to see a room of extraordinary video collaborations by Miko and Tom Thayer. These works effectively bridged the seemingly unbridgeable gap between painting and video, and were one of the highlights of the entire Miami art fair circuit this year.

Enjoy the list. As always, we are interested in your comments, so please tell us who is on your “watch” list. And feel free to critique mine...I can take it.

Happy Holidays.

Steven Zevitas
Editor and Publisher
New American Paintings

12 to Watch in 2012:

Forrest Bess
Anna Betbeze
Matthias Dornfeld
Echo Eggebrecht
Gabriel Hartley
Andrew Masullo
John McAllister
Dave Miko
Dona Nelson
Steve Roden
Analia Saban
Jonas Wood

Anna Betbeze


Anna Betbeze | Froggery, wool, acid dyes and watercolor, 92 x 55 inches.  Courtesy of Kate Werble Gallery, New York.

Matthias Dornfeld


Matthias Dornfeld | Untitled (Star), acrylic, gouache and spray-paint on canvas. Courtesy of Harris Lieberman Gallery, New York.

Echo Eggebrecht


Echo Eggebrecht (NAP #98) | Stopwatch, oil on panel, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of Horton Gallery, New York.

Gabriel Hartley


Gabriel Hartley | Eyes, oil on canvas, 102 x 78 inches. Courtesy of Foxy Production, New York.

Andrew Masullo


Andrew Masullo | 5265, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

John McAllister


John McAllister | Moony Jaunt Blithely, oil on canvas, 31 x 25 inches. Courtesy of James Fuentes Gallery, New York.

Dave Miko


Dave Miko | Installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Dona Nelson


Dona Nelson | Night Studio (front), acrylic on canvas with cheesecloth, 79 x 79 inches. Courtesy of Thomas Erben Gallery, New York.

Steve Roden


Steve Roden | When rain is like sun and sun is like rain…,  oil and acrylic on linen, 72 x 72 inches. Courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles.

Analia Saban


Analia Saban | Paint (Gray), wet acrylic paint, on linen canvas contained in Poly-Nylon bag, 20 x 20 x 2 inches. Courtesy of Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles.

Jonas Wood


Jonas Wood | The Hypnotist, oil and acrylic on canvas, 108 x 168 inches. Courtesy of Anton Kern Gallery, New York.