Here Are 5 International Artists the Artnet Gallery Network Is Watching This December

This month, we're checking out artists with shows in Singapore, Medellin, and beyond.

Liu Yi-Lan, Kiss the Land - 2 (2021). Courtesy of Galerie Grand Siècle.

At the Artnet Gallery Network, our goal is to discover new artists each and every month. We sifted through thousands of talented artists listed on our site to select five artists on view now that we think you should know about, at spaces from Berlin to Taipei. Check them out below.


Frank Pietras at Knab Contemporary, Berlin

Frank Pietras, Imperiale Erschöpfung (2014–2021). Courtesy of Knab Contemporary.

Frank Pietras, Imperiale Erschöpfung (2014–2021). Courtesy of Knab Contemporary.

Berlin-based artist Frank Pietras paints fantastical works that conjure up visions of Alice in Wonderland. But upon closer inspection, one often discovers clues hinting at more contemporary matters: business, politics, and nightlife. Made often over the course of years, with Pietras frequently reworking his compositions, the tactile works usually include oil, acrylic, and spray paints, and sometimes even include elements of assemblage, with small objects and sculptures affixed to the canvases.


Gustavo Velez at Galerie Duque Arango, Medellin

Gustavo Vélez, Entre cubos II (2021).

Gustavo Vélez, Entre cubos II (2021). Courtesy of Galeria Duque Arango.

Columbian artist Gustavo Vélez’s recent sculptures are a careful balance between abstraction, figuration, light, and shadow. The artist creates geometrically precise compositions that allude to a kind of mathematical poetry, reminiscent of the pyramids of Giza or ancient monoliths. The artist spent many years working and studying in both Italy and across Asia, and his works blend these influences, including classical European marble works with precise origami-like shapes in many cases.  

Mei Xian Qiu at Source Art, Los Angeles

Mei Xian Qiu, The Lovers (2014). Courtesy of Source Art.

Mei Xian Qiu, The Lovers (2014). Courtesy of Source Art.

Los Angeles-based artist Mei Xian Qiu was born in Java to a third-generation Chinese minority family that left its Indonesian homeland for the United States following waves of discrimination and violence in the mid-1960s. The artist, who has traveled to China on numerous occasions and emerged herself in its culture, creates paintings of carefully staged subjects dressed in clothes she designed and sewed herself. Her works blend together Pan-Asian, Chinese, and Western motifs, juxtaposing assumptions about ethnicity and customs. 

Tan Guo-Liang at Ota Fine Arts, Singapore

Tan Guo-Liang, Ambient Visions (2021). Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts.

Tan Guo-Liang, Ambient Visions (2021). Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts.

In this exhibition, Singaporean artist Guo-Liang Tan presents five large paintings made on translucent fabric surfaces, each presented as a free-standing piece. These works build off Tan’s last solo presentation, “Ghost Screen” (2017), in which he presented paintings on aeronautical fabric marked by pale washes of color. Tan’s new works push further into this abstraction and into what the artist calls phenomenological “surface-objects.” The artist paints on both sides of translucent fabric surface, presenting his paintings in wooden structures that are reminiscent of Asian frame stands and screens. In this way, the works act as space dividers within the gallery. 


Liu Yi-Lan at Galerie Grand Siecle, Taipei

Liu Yi-Lan, We Can't Know the Truth About 2020 (2020). Courtesy of Galerie Grand Siècle.

Liu Yi-Lan, We Can’t Know the Truth About 2020 (2020). Courtesy of Galerie Grand Siècle.

Taiwanese artist Liu Yi-Lan creates oil paintings that bridge folkloric decorative motifs with contemporary subject matter. The artist’s imagery centers mainly on female figures, depicted in flattened forms with cartoonishly large eyes. In his most recent works, the women are shown decked out in bold sartorial styles, often wearing masks that match their ensembles, their self-possessed demeanors seemingly normalizing the strangeness of our times. 

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