Artsy // 10 Small Galleries That Are Spotting Emerging Talent
Artsy Editorial, Jul 14, 2023 3:45PM
Foundations is Artsy’s new online fair spotlighting fresh works from galleries known for picking exciting rising artists. Here, Artsy Editorial selects 10 standout galleries with programs filled with fresh rising talent.
The Paris-based Bim Bam Gallery is building a name for its emerging program. The gallery has a particular focus on giving solo shows to artists based in the United States who have not yet had shows in France.
The gallery opened in 2019 in the Marais and has since shown rising artists such as Kevin Sabo, who makes fantastical figurative paintings of queer individuals pushing the limits of gender expression. Sabo is one of the featured artists for its Foundations selection, alongside Rachel Hayden.
Seoul, South Korea
Since opening in 2013, Seoul-based G Gallery has made a notable impact in the art world with an impressive program of Korean artists, specifically those working with abstraction. This is evident with its Foundations selection that includes the vibrant geometric abstract sculptures of Jungpyo Hong in dialogue with earth-tone works on paper and sculpture by Suyon Huh.
G Gallery is a must-visit for anyone interested in contemporary art in Seoul and is emblematic of the fast-growing Seoul art market. The gallery’s recent exhibitions and fair presentation of abstract textile artist Hannah Woo, who won the inaugural artists award at Frieze Seoul, is evidence of the gallery’s tastemaking status and support for rising talent.
The Minneapolis-based HAIRandNAILS was founded in 2015 by artists and curators Ryan Fontaine and Kristin Van Loon. The gallery is known for its small, intimate exhibitions that are often experimental, spanning photography, media, sculpture, painting, and performance. Its rich selection for Foundations is no exception, featuring moody, cinematic paintings by Emma Beatrez alongside the candy-colored palette of abstract painter Rachel Collier, among other artists.
The gallery’s most recent exhibitions featured conceptual artist Cameron Patricia Downey’s “Lord Split Me Open,” which closed last month, and figurative painter Gregory Rick’s “Coming Home,” which is on view through July 23rd. Both exhibitions portray Black American life through radically different mediums and practices.
New York, New York
One of the youngest galleries on this list is New York–based Someday Gallery, which opened in Tribeca in 2021. Founder Rosie Motley has an impressive track record as an arts writer and curator in New York, and has used those skills to develop a program of compelling artists. The gallery has featured many New York–based female contemporary artists including sculptor Ivana Bašić; Rachel Rossin, best known for her virtual reality and multimedia works; and performance multimedia artist Justin Sterling.
Someday Gallery’s selection for Foundations—which includes paintings by Alex Gibson, Brittany Shepherd, and Peter Brock—demonstrates its eye for identifying rising talent. Shepherd’s paintings are particularly compelling, evoking cropped screen stills from film noir, zooming in on moments in an anonymous criminal affair.
Everyday Gallery, founded by Boris Devis in 2019, shows work by a selection of artists who tend to be drawn to nature and the fantastical. Located in Antwerp, the gallery has worked with rising painters emerging from Europe, including Elsa Rouy, Marria Pratts, and Dittmar Viane. Viane showed with the gallery at Future Fair.
For its Foundations selection, the gallery is spotlighting haunting suburban scenes and abstract paintings by Bram Kinsbergen; tantalizing nature-inspired sculptures by Tom Volkaert; and the pastel still lifes of Erik Chiafele. A regular fixture on the city’s art circuit, Everyday Gallery is quickly becoming known for its ability to introduce new artists to an international art audience.
Paris, France; Cotonou, Benin
SEPTIEME Gallery was founded just months before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Its directors Julie Banâtre and Léa Perier Loko have a sharp eye for selecting emerging artists with a modernist flair. Always in search of artists who are working in innovative and interesting ways, the gallery’s fresh approach involves showing artists from the Black diaspora in Paris and Cotonou.
The gallery’s Foundations presentation is exemplary of its program, featuring Didier Viodé’s naive, acrylic portraits, alongside mixed-media collages by kwaku yaro. Along with Aplerh-Doku Borlabi’s bright paintings featuring coconut sheaths, the selection of works offers an exciting new perspective on Black portraiture.
New York, New York
LATITUDE Gallery New York is a contemporary art gallery located in New York, founded in 2020 by artist and entrepreneur Shihui Zhou, dedicated to showcasing cutting-edge works of art by emerging artists of the Asian diaspora. The gallery has recently shown promising emerging artists such as Jess Xiaoyi Han, Yuan Fang, and Kyong Kim—artists making work with a bold visual impact. Take for example Han’s dynamic yellow-and-pink hued painterly abstractions, or Fang’s swirling, immersive magenta-hued abstract paintings, both of which have captivated collectors in recent years.
The gallery is showing a wide variety of artists and mediums for its Foundations presentation. Some standouts include the pastel abstract paintings of Ye Cheng; the earth-toned, nature-inspired abstract paintings of Raymond Hwang; and the surreal, figurative paintings of Jessica Wee.
Cape Town, South Africa
SMAC was first established in 2007 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, with its Cape Town location opening in 2011. The gallery is dedicated to discovering and promoting new and emerging artists from Africa and the African diaspora and has garnered a strong reputation for picking new artists with great potential. For example, it represents conceptual textile artist Wallen Mapondera, who was featured in The Artsy Vanguard 2021, and later exhibited in Zimbabwe’s pavilion for the 59th Venice Biennale.
In SMAC’s selection for Foundations, Mapondera’s work is curated alongside Simphiwe Buthelezi and Bonolo Kavula, complementary artists working in textiles and mixed materials. Whereas Mapondera’s conceptual use of mixed media lends itself to more sculptural forms, Buthelezi opts to create sculptures that are akin to paintings. Kavula, meanwhile, creates woven tapestries that play with the history of South African textiles and patterns. Reflecting, though not limited to, the South African art scene, SMAC has steadily connected to an international art scene through its thoughtful curation.
Established in 2012 by Samantha Bankle Schefman and Paulina Petkoski, PLAYGROUND DETROIT is a contemporary art gallery and creative talent agency based in Detroit, Michigan. The gallery specializes in curating a diverse lineup of artists across culture and artistic mediums.
The gallery’s Foundations selection demonstrates its keen interest and curation of surrealistic styles across both painting and photography with the work of Lo Braden and Ivan Montoya. For example, Braden’s vivid color photographic portraits cast Black individuals into fantastical settings heightened by their use of glamour in hair, makeup, clothing, and set design. Braden’s profile is on the rise this year: they were recently spotlighted on Photo Vogue, Condé Nast’s editorial blog championing new photographic talent across its networks.
Mexico City, Mexico
JO-HS is a multifunctional studio, exhibition space, and home located in San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico City, founded by Danish curator Elisabeth Johs. The gallery has a strong focus on artists working across abstract and conceptual practices, including rising textile-based painters like Cassandra Mayela, and Monica Rezman.
For its Foundations selection, JO-HS is presenting Rezman and Mayela’s geometric woven tapestries alongside a stellar lineup of women artists including Melissa Rios, Rose Electra Harris, Frankie Tobin, and Mia Vallance. Tobin’s large-scale abstract oil pastel on canvas works are quickly making an impact with collectors since the artist’s residency at JO-HS earlier this spring.
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