Every year, New Contemporaries brings together the UK’s best young artists and recent graduates and whacks them all under one roof (or two roofs, in the case of South London Gallery and its adjacent Fire Station space). It acts as a sort of state-of-play for young art in this country, a way to take the pulse of creativity in the UK. And this year's showing is as good as ever. There's a bunch of painting, loads of installation, plenty of cleverness and oodles of ideas. Here's our pick of the best of the bunch.
Ultra bright, ultra simple painting that’s full of joy, like Alex Katz at Carnival.
Zearo’s super simple portraits, some on homemade paper, are oddly intimate. They feel private, like you’re being let in on a secret just by looking at them.
A puddle of green goo seeps out of a woman’s eye as a gaggle of gods leer over her. It’s brilliantly painted, intricate and filled with a tense, threatening aura.
Edey’s striated, pixelated hand embroidery could represent eyes or pearls or breasts. Whatever they are, this feels like seriously spiritual, ceremonial, sacred geometry.
A house is covered in thick black liquid, creating a gloopy, sticky, tacky, gothic structure. Bull’s sculpture is vile, suffocating, diseased, but also somehow deeply attractive. Would cost at least £1800pcm to rent in Camberwell.
Two big, clay structures – like huge ear canals combined with earthenware megaphones – blurt out noises, they feel profoundly organic, human, but also disconcertingly alien.
Hall’s work is like tracksuit inception, a kaleidoscope of three stripe fashion, playful naivety and psychedelic weirdness. It's like if some ultra-spiritual hermit found out about streetwear.
This is probably the best painting in the show. Either it’s unapologetic Riri fandom, or it’s a comment on celebrity obsessions. Great either way. Cuellar’s painting of a little lamb was also one of the best things at this year’s Summer Exhibition at the RA.
A kimono made of old Adidas tracksuits. It's not just chic and comfy, it's also a clever way of looking at mixed heritages and how different cultures overlap and influence each other.
Tihngang has created a 1990s infomercial for totally useless machines, which hang above. They spin, rotate, unfold, but to no end, they’re good for nothing – they’re just art. The sculptures themselves look like leather phone cases for impossible Apple products. It’s funny, smart, pleasingly aesthetic, genuinely excellent stuff.
Dobbe's work is essentially a portrait in handriers and mobility assistance toilet furniture. It's both intentionally minimalistic, a nod to 1990s conceptualism and deeply unsettling.
If Hockney was West African and built himself an apartment in Palm Springs, this is what it would look like. Totally joyful, totally gorgeous.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries is at South London Galleyr until Mar 12 2022. Free. More details here.