I was curious to see how the careers of the Breakout Artists of past years have gone, so I did some research. The runaway success of Rashid Johnson, from our very first such list in 2004, is well-known, but how were others doing? Quite well, it turns out. Of the 132 Breakout Artists before this year, forty-two have gallery representation, which is a status accorded to a select few artists. Though most are with Chicago galleries, many have gained the attention of establishments from New York to L.A., including Hauser & Wirth, Marianne Boesky Gallery and Kohn Gallery. Most of the others, many of whom have pursued less commercial routes, exhibit regularly at museums and other institutions around the world. I’ve joked that if only I’d bought one work from each new Breakout Artist every year, I’d be rich. Based on my research, it’s not a joke.
Longtime readers of Newcity are familiar with our legacy with comics, whether it was publishing Chris Ware at the beginning of his career or Harvey Pekar at the end of his, with many others since. But our transition from weekly to monthly changed things. It made less sense to serialize work one page at a time at this reduced frequency, but it created the opportunity to publish fully contained short stories, in what I think of as a comics analogue to the New Yorker’s fiction section. While we used to do this from time to time in what we thought of as comics journalism, the plan now is to make graphic storytelling a regular feature. And so I am ecstatic to present our first work in this new format, Summer Pierre’s seven-page story about her obsession with the artist Dora Carrington. That it is about a painter in an edition of the magazine that features visual artists is a happy coincidence.
Look for Newcity’s April 2021 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
In this issue: