Couldn’t Make It to Paris? Here Are 8 Rising-Star Artists That Collectors Were Converging on at the FIAC Week Fairs

We scoured the main fair, FIAC, and the satellite fair Asia Now for the most exciting, up-and-coming talent.

Pedestrians walk past the Flying Dragon, an artwork by US sculptor Alexander Calder displayed on the Place Vendome in Paris, as part of the FIAC, the French International Contemporary Art Fair, on October 21, 2021. Photo by Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images.

In the temporary structure Grand Palais Ephémère on the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower last week, collectors were hungrily snapping up artworks on display at the 47th edition of FIAC, France’s international contemporary art fair. In a market moment when the appetite is greatest for work in the low- to mid-price ranges, young galleries particularly benefited from this enthusiasm to see physical artworks once again, with many reporting strong sales. 

Meanwhile across the Seine, satellite fair Asia Now featured a spotlight on artists from Iran. As several of the fair’s Asian exhibitors were unable to attend due to visa and quarantine restrictions, the fair expanded its usual scope to invite Iranian galleries to participate in a special spotlight section, Tehran Now.

Here are our top picks of the artists creating striking artworks that attracted attention at both fairs. 


Maaike Schoorel (b. 1973)

Installation view of Maaike Schoorel's presentation at FIAC. Courtesy  Mendes Wood DM Sao Paulo, New York, Brussels. Photo by Kristien Daem.

Installation view of Maaike Schoorel’s presentation at FIAC. Courtesy Mendes Wood DM Sao Paulo, New York, Brussels. Photo by Kristien Daem.

Who: Schoorel, who holds an MA from London’s Royal College of Art, creates contemplative paintings that oscillate between abstraction and figuration. These delicately layered paintings taking time to absorb are the antithesis of Instagrammable instantaneity. At a glance, they appear to be abstract and fairly monochromatic. Upon closer inspection, animals and objects can be seen blended into the canvases that reference the history of painting in the Netherlands. Her entrancing diptych, Panda Selfie (2021), exemplifies how Schoorel embraced a more colorful palette and felt connected to nature during lockdowns. The left-hand panel portrays the artist taking a selfie while wearing an animal mask, while the right-hand panel is entirely abstract. 

Based in: Amsterdam

On view: Mendes Wood DM from Sao Paulo, New York, Brussels at FIAC

Why you should care: Her solo presentation produced in collaboration with the Mondriaan Fund at Mendes Wood DM at FIAC almost sold out. The gallery created a salon environment with arrangements of plants (loaned by curators and artists) that was conceived by the French artist Benoît Piéron. 

Schoorel has exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Martin Gropius Bau Museum in Berlin, the Hayward Gallery in London, and the Biennale of Sydney, among other venues. Her work has been acquired by Holland’s Frans Hals Museum, Fondazione Memmo in Rome, the Saatchi Collection and Zabludowicz Collection in London, LACMA, the Warehouse in Dallas and De la Cruz Collection in Miami. 

Prices: €5,000–€30,000

Up next: Schoorel will have solo exhibitions at Museum Willet-Holthuysen in Amsterdam in May 2022, and at Maureen Paley in London in spring 2022.

Paul Maheke (b. 1985)

Paul Maheke, installation view at Galerie Sultana. Courtesy Galerie Sultana.

Paul Maheke, installation view at Galerie Sultana. Courtesy Galerie Sultana.

Who: Maheke is a French multi-disciplinary artist who creates dance-led performances, sculptures, installations and digital paintings. His sensorial installations often feature long sheer curtains, through which his performing body would appear and disappear. Reflecting on the “body as an archive” and physical memory, his work addresses vulnerability, queerness, feminism, and postcolonialism. Maheke, who has a Congolese father, has also delved into the occult in an inviting practice that extends beyond identity politics and embraces poetic nuance. 

Based in: London

On view: Sultana from Paris at FIAC and at Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev where Maheke is shortlisted for the sixth edition of the Future Generation Art Prize (running through February 27, 2022). 

Why you should care: Maheke’s solo show at Sultana exemplified how he merges hard and soft in a staged scenography. Next to purple-hued curtains featuring texts about sexual abuse were small glass cubes laser-engraved with the silhouettes of angels on copper, acid-induced plinths and mauve digital portraits. 

Maheke has performed at the Serpentine Gallery, Manifesta in Palermo, the Venice Biennale, and Glasgow International. His work is in the collections of Tate Modern, the CNAP (which manages France’s national contemporary art collection), Neues Museum Nürnberg, and Luma Foundation in Arles. 

Prices: €5,000–€11,000

Up next: Maheke’s performance, Taboo Durag, will be at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, on November 13–14, 2022. 

Mimosa Echard (b. 1986)

Mimosa Echard, Numbs (Ange) (2021). Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Mimosa Echard, Numbs (Ange) (2021). Courtesy Galerie Chantal Crousel.

Who: Echard creates hybridized canvases composed of nude photographs and other images superposed with printed fabrics, lace, jewelry, beads, and organic ingredients. The visual intersection of natural and manufactured elements evokes an idea of cross-contamination, mirroring the overload of online information, consumerism, and environmental waste in contemporary lives. This makes her collaged work arresting yet unsettling in its manner of critiquing throw-away culture. Her large-scale piece, predominantly in black, is a striking example. Titled Numbs (Ange), it integrates everything from bits of mirror, metal chains, synthetic and natural hairs, blueberries and lichen, to dwell on the relationship between the artificial and the natural.

Based in: Paris

On view: Chantal Crousel from Paris at FIAC

Why you should care: Echard has completed residencies at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris and Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. Besides exhibiting widely in France, she has participated in exhibitions at Sommer Gallery in Tel Aviv and Platform-L in Seoul. Last year, she had solo shows at Chantal Crousel and Collection Lambert in Avignon. Her work has been acquired by the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the CNAP (which manages France’s national contemporary art collection), Fondation Louis Vuitton, the Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh and Museo Ettore Fico in Turin.

Prices: €24,500

Up next: She will have a solo show at the Palais de Tokyo next spring. 

Simon Martin (b. 1992)

Simon Martin, Thibault et Camille (2021). Courtesy Jousse Entreprise. Photo: ©Studio Shapiro.

Simon Martin, Thibault et Camille (2021). Courtesy Jousse Entreprise. Photo: ©Studio Shapiro.

Who: Martin creates blurry, vibrant, magical paintings depicting young couples and individuals in landscapes that capture the effect of dappled sunlight. He often portrays his friends, employing a pastel and acidic palette. The carefree spirit of the figures contrasts with the disquieting colors to create a faintly apocalyptic atmosphere. 

Based in: Paris

On view: Jousse Entreprise from Paris at FIAC

Why you should care: Martin was awarded the portrait prize from the association Friends of the Fine Arts of Paris, which supports Paris’s fine arts academy, ENSBA, upon graduating from it in 2017. Since then, his paintings have been acquired by the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the fashion designer Agnès b. After a solo show at Jousse Entreprise in summer 2020, his work was included in the group exhibition “Eyes Closed” at Perrotin in March, when Emmanuel Perrotin invited artists from other galleries to exhibit in his Paris space. Jousse Entreprise sold all the paintings on its solo booth of the artist’s paintings during the preview of FIAC.

Prices: €4,200–€24,000

Up next: After working intensely to produce paintings for the fair, Martin will be “taking a rest,” Jousse Entreprise said, before embarking on new works for which there is a growing waiting list.

Tyna Adebowale (b. 1982)

Tyna Adebowale, Jermain (2020). Courtesy Ellen de Bruijne Projects.

Tyna Adebowale, Jermain (2020). Courtesy Ellen de Bruijne Projects.

Who: Adebowale is a Nigerian artist who has had a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. The characters’ bodies in her large-scale portraits are meticulously composed from tiny circles, lines and swirls, like a head-to-toe tattoo. Her representation of the Black body addresses her anger about the deprived position of women and rampant homophobia in Nigerian society, as well as exile, gender, and sexual orientation issues. Set against monochromatic or Mondrian-like backgrounds, the portraits of queer activists and other figures reveal the influence of western art. She also makes video work.

Based in: Amsterdam and Lagos

On view: Ellen de Bruijne Projects from Amsterdam at FIAC

Why you should care: Adebowale was included in the recent group exhibitions “Refresh Amsterdam” at the Amsterdam Museum and “What if Women Ruled the World?” at Garage Rotterdam. Her work is in the collections of Valeria Napoleone in London and Chris Moser in Vienna. She currently has a solo show, “She called me a woman,” at Ellen de Bruijn Projects in Amsterdam (running through November 20, 2021). Her painting, Jermain (2020) displayed at FIAC depicts a double portrait of a critic friend reading a collaged newspaper that features an article on Black Lives Matter. The notion of double identity draws on how Adebowale had a twin brother who died when she was young. The painting was acquired for a Chinese collection through the art consultant Liyu Yeo.

Prices:€5,000–€40,000. The paintings in her exhibition at Ellen de Bruijn Projects are priced €12,500–€25,000.

Up next: Adebowale has been tapped by the artist Kehinde Wiley to participate in this year’s Black Rock Residency in Senegal.

Isabel Nuño de Buen (b. 1985)

Isabel Nuño de Buen, Codex 17 (from another world) (2021) at Chris Sharp.

Isabel Nuño de Buen, Codex 17 (from another world) (2021) at Chris Sharp.

Who: Isabel Nuño de Buen was born in Mexico City and moved to Germany to study art in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony. Her irregularly shaped, multi-media wall sculptures are painstakingly made from ceramics, paper mâché, textiles and cords. The abstract, layered forms are reminiscent of fossils and coral, and evocative of ancient civilizations. They denote how she draws inspiration from Pre-Columbian artifacts, the Mexican codex and architecture.

Based in: Hannover, Germany

On view: Chris Sharp from Los Angeles at FIAC

Why you should care: Chris Sharp sold six of her works at FIAC. London collector Catherine Petitgas, who is a committee member of Tate’s Latin American Acquisitions Committee, bought one of them for her own collection. Nuño de Buen has received grants from Germany and a Unesco program in Mexico, and completed a residency in Melbourne. Her work has been exhibited in Germany, Mexico and Australia. She was awarded the Sprengel Prize by the Lower Saxony Sparkasse Foundation and the State of Lower Saxony in Germany; the prize includes an exhibition at Sprengel Museum in Hannover.

Prices: €4,000–€7,500

Up next: A solo show at Sprengel Museum, Hannover, from December 4, 2021 through February 27, 2022. 

Hoda Kashiha (b. 1986)

Hoda Kashiha, <i>The banished sun</i> (2021)/ Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia.

Hoda Kashiha, The banished sun (2021)/ Courtesy Galerie Nathalie Obadia.

Who: Kashida studied painting at Tehran University and Boston University. Her brightly colored canvases showing a fragmentation of pictorial space bear the influence of western abstract art, such as Italian Futurism. Her works reflect upon Iran’s political situation, censorship and the place of women in society. 

Based in: Tehran 

On view: Nathalie Obadia from Paris/Brussels at Asia Now

Why you should care: Kashida has had solo shows at Etemad Gallery in Tehran and Nathalie Obadia in Brussels, and has participated in a group show at the Palais de Tokyo. Her work is in the collection of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and Commonwealth Hotel in Boston. Nathalie Obadia sold three paintings by Kashida at Asia Now, including, The banished sun (2021). Featuring a red rose, bright yellow sun and upside-down female legs next to grey fragments, it is suggestive of shadows hanging over elements of passion and hope.

Prices: €10,000–€15,000

Up next: A solo show at CAC Passerelle in Brest, northwest France, from February to May 2022.

Ali Phi (b. 1987)

Ali Phi <i>Agnosia 2</i> (2021). Courtesy Mohsen Gallery, supported by Toronto Arts Council.

Ali Phi Agnosia 2 (2021). Courtesy Mohsen Gallery, supported by Toronto Arts Council.

Who: Phi is an Iranian artist who creates computer-generated video installations. With a background in environmental engineering and cinematic arts, he has served as a curator of Tadaex, Tehran’s annual digital art exhibition, and is known for his performances. On Saturday, Phi gave an audio-visual performance of his work, Maoruh, at Tehran Contemporary Sounds Festival in Berlin.

Based in: Toronto

On view: Mohsen Gallery from Tehran at Asia Now

Why you should care: Phi’s latest video installation received support from the Toronto Arts Council. Phi moved to Canada shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic and was then unable to return to Iran. During lockdowns in Toronto, he attached sensors to his head to record his brain activity and homesickness through electroencephalogram (EEG). The signals were translated by the computer software that Phi developed into a video. On show at Mohsen Gallery were two astonishing still-frames from the video printed on metal, one of which sold. The constellations of dots in a palette of white, mauve, purple and pink against a black background are an abstract translation of his mental state.

Prices: €3,000

Up next: He will have a solo show at Mohsen Gallery in Tehran in 2022.


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