One of the standout artists of this new generation is Raj Kaur. The artist’s fluid figures are so energetic that, even on paper, they seem to skid across the page. You can almost hear the music that is integral to Kaur’s working process.
Another rising star, the award-winning Anna Sofie Jespersen, envisions the human figure to be less ethereal. Instead, the Danish artist sees the body as an entry point into the complicated psyche. In her large-scale work Talkshow, some characters seem lost in thought and suspicion, while others are only half-formed, missing faces and body parts. Words and sentences float between the figures and the tension is almost palpable. Atmosphere is not in short supply in Jespersen’s work Bill Murray And My Friends. Yet this time it is joyous; a charcoal vision of a drunken sing along with the famously convivial actor.
Mat Cahill’s figurative drawings focus on a very modern kind of human. His figures appear mostly in giant, colourful crowds, reflecting a new age of globalised, inter-connected humanity. Social media self-portrait depicts the intimate images uploaded to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. But seeing them en-masse creates a dystopian map of our information society and the colour-code hints at the way in which social media users have been sorted into invisible categories. Working in felt-tip, Cahill’s works are mesmerizingly vibrant while also intensively thought provoking. The artist - who used to assist Damien Hirst - says he sometimes spends up to 400 hours on his pieces.