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Artists on the Verge of a Breakthrough

The ten most likely to succeed from the “Greater New York” show.

Boy (2004) by Dana Schutz, courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery/LFL  

In 2000, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center mounted “Greater New York,” a sprawling survey of local talent that helped fuel the breakout careers of Julie Mehretu and Paul Pfeiffer, among many others. The second version of the show opens March 13 with more than 150 artists, just as some 40,000 collectors descend on the city for the spring art fairs. To qualify for the first “Greater New York,” an artist couldn’t have had a solo gallery exhibition. This time around, curators Klaus Biesenbach, Bob Nickas, and Amy Smith-Stewart, recognizing that dealers were plucking artists straight from their M.F.A. thesis shows, specified only that the artists should have “emerged” since the 2000 exhibition. In this heated market (some say bubble), the stakes are high, and Armory Show shoppers are no doubt aware that the non-collecting P.S. 1 plays a major role in spotting promising acquisitions for its bigger sibling MoMA. We consulted with curators, gallery owners, and critics and then picked the ten artists of “Greater New York” we think have the best chance at making it big—in the market and on their own terms.

Dana Schutz
A recent grad of the buzzed-about Columbia M.F.A. program, Schutz still works in a windowless, unheated studio not far from campus. For her first solo show at LFL (now Zach Feuer) gallery in 2002, the Michigan native cast herself as the observer of a fictional “last man on earth.” Since then, she’s appeared in Vogue and Artforum and seen her work snapped up by the Rubells, Charles Saatchi, the Corcoran, the Guggenheim, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, remaining loyal to Feuer despite other offers. “She’s definitely an interesting one to watch,” says Amy Cappellazzo, international co-head of Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie’s. In “Greater New York,” she’ll debut her biggest painting yet: a fourteen-by-ten-foot autopsy scene that suggests Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson glimpsed through a prism.