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Rule No. 2

Go Deep on a Genre

You can’t be an expert on everything. So rooting yourself chiefly in a single style is a smart way to begin collecting. To get you started, here are some artists doing bold work in major genres.

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Click on each section to see artists.

If you like CUBISM

Established:

Jessica Stockholder

Perhaps best known for Color Jam, her playful 2012 mural in the Loop, Stockholder creates works that exude pure joy. Sour Stomach Stack, $20,000 to $30,000, Kavi Gupta

Emerging:

Chris Silva

Using found objects from around Chicago, Silva sculpts political musings into graphic geometric assemblages.
Happy Accident, $3,000, Linda Warren Projects

If you like ABSTRACT PHOTOGRAPHY

Established:

Barbara Kasten

Kasten’s work has seen a recent resurgence, thanks to her 2015 solo show, Stages, at the Graham Foundation. Collision 1 T, $32,000, Bortolami Gallery (NYC)

Emerging:

Jeroen Nelemans

This Dutch photographer’s serene images are at once intimate and wholly mysterious.
Untitled-4, $5,500, The Mission

If you like SURREALISM

Established:

William J. O’Brien

The abrasive, bizarre sculptures by this associate professor of ceramics at the SAIC both scare and delight.
Untitled, $16,000, Shane Campbell Gallery

Emerging:

Renee Robbins

Energy radiates from this Albany Park painter’s canvases, which evoke psychedelic dreamscapes.
Swelling Serenade, $3,000, Lois Lambert Gallery (Santa Monica, CA)

If you like MINIMALISM

Established:

Michelle Grabner

This former Oak Parker takes cues from domestic life and, aptly enough, runs a gallery called the Suburban.
Untitled, $20,000 to $40,000, James Cohan Gallery (NYC)

Emerging:

John Opera

Made with a blend of paints and photo-developing chemicals, Opera’s images are austere and space-agey.
Double Lens (RB), $3,500, Document

If you like POP ART

Established:

Carlos Rolón (Dzine)

A lover of kitsch and glitz, Rolón has won accolades all over the globe for his vibrant pieces.
Fountain of Youth, $26,000, David Castillo Gallery (Miami Beach, FL)

Emerging:

Morgan Sims

It’s easy to get lost inside the disco-era exuberance of this California native’s pixelated paintings.
Interference, $5,000, Bert Green Fine Art

If you like PORTRAITURE

Established:

Dawoud Bey

Bey helped redefine street photography in the 1970s with his now-seminal Harlem, USA series.
Couple in Prospect Park, $12,000, Stephen Daiter Gallery

Emerging:

David Kasnic

This Columbia College grad’s portraits defy easy definitions. All evoke a deep, intimate sympathy with their subjects.
Brother Wayne, $600, self-represented

If you like CONCEPTUAL ART

Established:

Anne Wilson

Wilson’s curious pieces make wry statements using materials like thread, wire, and hair.
Shadow Palette, $15,000, Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Emerging:

Chris Bradley

This 34-year-old Chicago sculptor finds humor in replicating banal totems of everyday life.
Ice Bag (Polar Bear), $4,000, Shane Campbell Gallery

If you like ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM

Established:

Judy Ledgerwood

The wife of acclaimed sculptor Tony Tasset, Ledgerwood has earned her own place in the local canon.
Wackadoodle, $25,000, Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Emerging:

Anna Kunz

Kunz’s small, saturated paintings are immersive meditations on light, color, and pattern.
Untitled, $1,600, Thomas McCormick Gallery

Photos: © 2016 Christie’s Images Limited; Courtesy of the artist and Bortolami gallery, New York; (Bey) Copyright Dawoud Bey, Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery; (Kasnic) Courtesy of the Artist; (All others) courtesy of the artists and galleries


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