Founded by a London-based gallery employee, who prefers to remain anonymous, @artofsocialdistancing is a recently launched Instagram page spotlighting the work of artists’ whose shows have been cancelled due to the present pandemic. Featuring insightful captions that expand on the pictured works and people behind them, the quickly growing account is an excellent resource to discover recent art from across the world, which has gone somewhat under the radar due to unusual circumstances.
Nodding to not just the artists but the institutions, curators and gallerists behind the interrupted projects, @artofsocialdistancing celebrates the efforts of all involved. A recent post includes details of works from Lily Wong’s temporarily shuttered show at New York’s Kapp Kapp gallery. Wong’s work is steeped in elements of East Asian image making, and though in philosophical continuity with her previous outputs, Wong’s new body of work concentrates on single narrative paintings, which compellingly study our everyday dualities.
Having established a directory of sorts by collating diverse exhibitions that can be discovered online, @artofsocialdistancing has built its content through a mixture of research and a burgeoning number of submissions, from artists, institutions and commercial galleries alike. Scrolling slightly further back, discover the work of Nevine Mahmoud at Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, an enticing sculpture of a fruit rendered in glistening stone. Her works create a dialogue of sensual depiction that was once more typically associated with Baroque gestures, replaced by a refined and incisive accumulation of materials.
Elsewhere, learn about the paintings of Sebastian Dacey, whose third solo show at Munich’s Jahn und Jahn is closed temporarily. Viewable online are the artist’s striking works on paper, a selection of large wall paintings, and a wood installation, all mostly made in the last four months in Marseille. Keep exploring to see works from Salman Toor’s postponed Whitney Museum exhibition. Known for his small-scale figurative works that combine academic technique and a quick, sketch-like style, Toor offers intimate views into the imagined lives of young, queer Brown men residing between New York City and South Asia.
Another standout, Blum & Poe Tokyo’s postponed Asuka Anastacia Ogawa show, the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery, also gets a mention. Ogawa creates large figurative paintings that depict androgynous children in chimerical dreamscapes, otherworldly scenes formed from solid fields of colour and flat picture planes. The artist conjures these compositions through an exercise that embraces unmediated impulse and channels the sense of curiosity, wonder and play paramount to childhood. At a particularly difficult time, @artofsocialdistancing heralds a message of positivity and hope for the arts, while providing a brilliant research resource.
Feature image: Salman Toor, The Green Room, 2019 (via Salman Toor)