5 Exciting Young Artists to Watch at Sunday Art Fair

From video games to tapestries, emerging (and affordable) art takes center stage at the satellite fair.

Still from Uncle Sad Bedroom (2017) by Jeremy Couillard. Courtesy yours, mine & ours, New York.
Still from Uncle Sad Bedroom (2017) by Jeremy Couillard. Courtesy yours, mine & ours, New York.

With Frieze week now in full swing, international art-world denizens and collectors flock to the two tents of Frieze London and Frieze Masters in Regent’s Park. But a mere five-minute walk down the street, tucked away in the subterranean venue of Ambika P3, is the eighth edition of Sunday Art Fair, which opened to a younger and hipper crowd last night.

This year, the fair hosts 25 exhibitors from a range of cities including Bucharest, LA, Dubai, Warsaw, London, and Madrid. Focusing on young and emerging art, the works on display are refreshing for Frieze-fatigued eyes, and much easier on the pocket than those offered at the neighboring major fair. (At Sunday, prices start as low as €470 for a small watercolor and go up to $25,000 for a large-scale painting.)

But if Sunday excels in one thing it’s in providing early access to some of tomorrow’s art stars. Here we bring you five artists exhibiting at Sunday that you’d do well to collect now—or at least keep an eye on.

Jeremy Couillard
at yours, mine & ours — New York

Still from Uncle Sad Bedroom (2017) by Jeremy Couillard. Courtesy yours, mine & ours, New York.

Ever felt like your Monday morning commute resembles a bad video game? If so, this presentation by Jeremy Couillard will surely touch a nerve. For its Sunday debut, yours, mine & ours has chosen a solo presentation by the young New York-based artist, who works across a range of (new) media including VR, print, and sculpture. The fair booth centers on the video game Uncle Sad Bedroomdesigned and developed by the artist earlier this year, which comes in an edition of 10 at $8,000 a pop. In a black box fitted with a large screen and controls, visitors are invited to play. For those less inclined to do so, a 35-minute film version of the piece kicks off after 30 seconds.

In it, the protagonist—a sort of anthropomorphized donkey-duck—wanders around cityscapes and dreamscapes such as train stations, offices, or black holes contemplating the meaning of life, death, and work (with musings such as “Nobody likes having a job, but we all desperately want one.”) It’s like one-liner existentialism for the iPhone generation. But if this sounds like tired, so-called post-internet art, it’s not. Far from being cynical and blasé, Couillard’s work is funny, heartfelt, empathic, and oneiric. Outside the black box, a number of 2-D works hang from the walls—most of them UV prints of images from the video game—with prices ranging between $2,000-$6,000.

Summer Wheat
at Shulamit Nazarian — Los Angeles

Summer Wheat, Pound (2017) at the booth of Shulamit Nazarian. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso

Summer Wheat, Pound (2017) at the booth of Shulamit Nazarian. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

LA dealer Shulamit Nazarian’s solo presentation of the American artist Summer Wheat is a feast for the eyes. Appearing to be tapestries, these works are in fact paintings rendered in acrylic on aluminum mesh, with some also featuring small resin objects or gold-leaf embellishments that function like textural accents highlighting a hand, an eye, an eyebrow. The beguiling works sit somewhere between fine art and decorative arts and crafts, and almost beg to be touched.

For this series of works presented at Sunday, the Oklahoma born, New York-based artist has tackled the history of female representation in art. Drawing from various sources—from Egyptian relief and Medieval tapestries to Modernist painting—Wheat’s paintings manage to both reference and subvert the conventions of the male gaze.

With prices starting at $4,200 for the smaller piece and going up to $25,000 for the wall-sized painting that dominated the booth (and was sold one hour into the preview), Wheat works are objects of desire in their own right.

Ross Taylor
at Ivan Gallery – Bucharest

Ross Taylor, Self-portrait with hair and toothache (2015-2017) at the booth of Ivan Gallery. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Ross Taylor, Self-portrait with hair and toothache (2015-2017) at the booth of Ivan Gallery. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

The London-based artist Ross Taylor works across painting and sculpture, reworking the pieces in his studio again and again, sometimes for more than two years, until he deems them finished. At Sunday, Ivan Gallery is showing a generous selection of abstract works, portraits, and sculptures by the RCA graduate that are manifestations of his inner world of personal stories and fictional characters.

The artist also plays with materials: On the floor, what looks a massive felt shoe for a giant toy chicken is in fact made of wood. Nearby, what looks like a leather trunk has been fashioned into a strange dog. On the walls, a portrait of an eel brings to mind Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat, while Taylor’s Self-portrait with hair and toothache gives us a slightly terrifying image of a figure with clown-makeup and massive teeth. The works are highly textural, seamlessly oscillating between abstraction and figuration. They are also simultaneously droll and scary, like a Medieval horror tale that you can’t stop reading. With prices ranging between £1,500 and £5,500, they’re also tempting.

Ana Santos
at The Goma — Madrid

Works by Ana Santos at the booth of The Goma. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Works by Ana Santos at the booth of The Goma. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Madrid’s The Goma opted for a much more understated approach with a solo booth devoted to the work of Ana Santos. The young Portuguese artist creates sculptural work by manipulating found objects and combining everyday materials. The results are quiet assemblages which might not scream for attention at a busy art fair, but certainly reward it if given.

On the floor, an untitled piece from 2015 looks like a mangled, torn pipe, but is made of cardboard, paper, lead, and indian ink. Meanwhile, on the walls, a series of works on marble with delicate markings in paraffin straddle the mediums of sculpture and painting. Despite her growing reputation and her work being part of the collection of the prestigious Serralves Foundation, prices for artworks by Santos are still incredibly affordable: the offerings at Sunday range from €3,000 to €4,500.

Gino Saccone
at Mieke van Schaijk — ‘S-Hertogenbosch

Works by Gino Saccone at the booth of Mieke van Schaijk Gallery. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Works by Gino Saccone at the booth of Mieke van Schaijk Gallery. Photo Lorena Muñoz-Alonso.

Tapestries are big this season, particularly those inflected with figurative humor. If that’s your thing, look no further than Gino Saccone. The British artist is the star of the booth of the Dutch gallery Mieke van Schaijk, with his bright tapestries and sculptures taking over an entire large wall at Ambika P3.

Take the piece Weighlifters (2017), in which a leonine creature is simultaneously dj-ing and lifting weights. Made of cotton woven jacquard with golden filaments, the piece is fascinatingly pictorial as well, despite the lack of actual brushstrokes. With a price tag of €3,750, the large tapestry had already changed hands during the morning preview.

Still available was a selection of small watercolors (starting at €470), a number of sculptures, and a series of tapestries featuring abstract motifs (at €18,000 for a group of four).

Sunday Art Fair is open from October 5-8 at Ambika P3.


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