7 Emerging Artists to Watch at FIAC and Its Edgier Sister Fair, the Paris Internationale

We scoured the city to find the best still-unknown names to look out for.

Nora Turato's work at Gregor Staiger's booth at the Paris Internationale. Photo by Naomi Rea.

For art lovers looking to make discoveries in Paris this week, FIAC has a strong showing of emerging galleries in an upstairs wing of the Grand Palais. But if you’re looking to swap out the VIP lounge for a Vape lounge—literally, one of the project spaces is also an e-cigarette store—the Paris Internationale is a suitable alternative.

While FIAC’s Lafayette section does offer generously subsidized booths (the Lafayette Group coughs up half the cost), the selection remains tight, with room for just 10 galleries. For collectors hoping to make discoveries on the lower end of the market, the younger fair offers a wider range to choose from, with 42 galleries making a showing in 2019. The nonprofit fair, which is free to visit, is now in its fifth edition, and is spread across four floors of a Hausmannian mansion a 20-minute walk away from the Grand Palais. 

Here are 7 emerging artists to watch from both fairs.


Merike Estna at Temnikova & Kasela

Merike Estna, <i>Trapped</i> (2018). Courtesy the artist, Bosse & Baum gallery, Temnikova & Kasela gallery.

Merike Estna, Trapped (2018). Courtesy the artist, Bosse & Baum gallery, Temnikova & Kasela gallery.

Who: Born in 1980, the 39-year-old artist interrogates the hierarchy between fine art and handicrafts in her work, integrating painting into objects from everyday life. In her early days, Estna’s work was recognizable through its light blue, pink, and yellow swirls, with a marbling technique applied on canvas as well as on clothing and furnishings. Now, she uses a technique she calls “masking,” peeling tape off her work to reveal buried layers, creating a palimpsest-like effect. There is also a performative element to her practice.

Based in: Tallinn, Estonia

On View: Paris Internationale

Why You Should Pay Attention: Estna was included in the Estonian chapter of the 13th Baltic Triennial, curated by Vincent Honoré, in 2018. Previously, she was part of the XVI Vilnius Painting Triennial in 2016, and has had numerous solo exhibitions in London, New York, Mexico City, Stuttgart, the Baltics, and across Scandinavia. She has also had institutional solo shows at Riga’s Contemporary Art Center and Tallinn’s KUMU Art Museum.

What to Look Out For: Temnikova & Kasela is showing works from Estna’s 2018 “Dawn of the Swarm” series, first shown at Bosse & Baum gallery in London, as well as a new hanging sculptural work. 

Prices: A large canvas is priced at €8,100, with smaller ones at €2,700. There are also a number of ceramic pots ranging from €500 to €1,000.

Up Next: Estna has an upcoming solo at the Moderna Museet in Malmö (“Ghost of the future, filled with memories of past“) from October 26, 2019, through January 26, 2020. Her gallery will also be bringing her to Frieze New York, where she will stage a solo performance.


Issy Wood at Carlos/Ishikawa

Issy Wood, <i>Excuse me / your life is waiting</i>(2019). Courtesy Carlos/Ishikawa London.

Issy Wood, Excuse me / your life is waiting (2019). Courtesy Carlos/Ishikawa London.

Who: Born in the US in 1993, the 26-year-old artist infuses contemporary content into traditional painting styles. She has called herself a “medieval millenial” after imposing contemporary anxieties onto medieval-looking painting (one of her works depicts an iPhone). In her practice, Wood is interested in the aesthetics of seduction and the translation of femininity into physical objects, imbuing appropriated images with an unsettling anachronistic twist.

Based in: London, UK

On View: Paris Internationale

Why You Should Pay Attention: There has been a rising interest in Wood’s work on the London scene. Her work is in London’s Zabludowicz Collection, and was featured in its “World Receivers” exhibition earlier this year. She also had a solo exhibition, “All the rage,” this summer at Goldsmiths CCA.

What to Look Out For: A large, two-panel, oil-on-linen painting is on view at the fair. The new work, titled Excuse me / your life is waiting (2019), depicts a delicate porcelain dining set in the foreground, and it takes you a second to notice a looming disembodied female figure in the background. The juxtaposition in a city such as Paris prompts a connection to the paintings of Renoir and the Impressionists, in which the female body is often relegated to the background.

Prices: Her smaller works go for around $5,000, and the large painting in the booth is priced at $35,000, although her works can sell for up to $50,000.

Up Next: Wood is currently on view in a group exhibition at the Schinkel Pavillon in Frankfurt, through December 15. She will also be on view at the booth of JTT gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach, and will have a solo exhibition at JTT in New York in January, followed by another solo at Carlos/Ishikawa in London in the spring.


Nora Turato at Galerie Gregor Staiger

Installation view of Nora Turato at Gregor Staiger in Paris Internationale. Photo courtesy Galerie Gregor Staiger.

Installation view of Nora Turato at Gregor Staiger in Paris Internationale. Photo by Graysc, courtesy Galerie Gregor Staiger.

Who: Turato is a Croatian artist with a background in graphic design, music, and performance. Born in 1991 in Zagreb, the 28-year-old appropriates texts from the “contemporary infosphere” to collage together an eclectic mix of social media posts, advertising slogans, tobacco warnings, and extracts from poems, political speeches, TV shows, and newspapers. Her practice is rooted in performance, with the texts forming the basis of scripts for spoken-word performances, in which she uses her body as a musical instrument, animating it with juddering movements and primal, guttural snarls. 

Based in: Amsterdam, Netherlands

On View: Paris Internationale

Why You Should Pay Attention: She just closed a show, “explained away,” at the Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein, and was included as a performer at Manifesta 12. She has also exhibited at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva and at the 32nd Biennial of Graphics Arts in Ljubljana.

What to Look Out For: Turato has given form to her scripts in a new series of enamel works based on a recent performance at the gallery in Zürich. The panelled works layer excerpts in stark Helvetica combined with a font she has created from her own handwriting.

Prices: The unique works at the fair range from €15,000 for a single panel work to €25,000 for an ensemble of four panels.

Up Next: Turato is slated to open a solo show at the Serralves Museum in Porto in October, and has upcoming performances at the ICA in London and Madrid’s CentroCentro in November, followed by exhibitions in 2020 at the Philara Collection in Düsseldorf, MGLC in Ljubljana, and Centre Pompidou in Paris.


Timothée Calame at Weiss Falk

Installation view of Timothée Calame at Weiss Falk. Photo by Nate Freeman.

Installation view of Timothée Calame at Weiss Falk. Photo by Nate Freeman.

Who: Calame makes Minimalist installations imbued with a hint of Japanese manga, and his works are somehow indebted to WH Auden (though the artist has no known association to a certain silver-screen heartthrob who bears a similar name).

Based in: Marseilles, France

On View: FIAC

Why You Should Pay Attention: Calame received MAMCO Geneva’s 2017 Prix Manor, which came with a solo exhibition at the institution, and he has had various solo shows, including one at the Swiss Institute in New York.

What to Look Out For: At the booth of Basel gallery Weiss Falk, Calame installed a full mini-show called “The City without Walls,” after a WH Auden poem. The main sculpture is a series of dystopian-looking towers of concrete, cut through with slices of yellow resin. Situated by the window, it catches the light in delightful ways as the sun rises and sets during the day. It’s one of the most talked-about booths in the sector, and in the span of a few minutes a director at Chantal Crousel and Reena Spaulings founder Emily Sundblad both stopped by to check it out.

Prices: €3,000 for small wall works featuring suitcases that, in darkness, reveal monsters inside, and €12,000 for the sculpture.

Up Next: Next summer, he will be featured in the second edition of the Biennale Sculpture Garden, taking place June 12 through September 10, 2020. The outdoor biennale, curated by Balthazar Lovay in collaboration with MAMCO Geneva, takes place across four vast public spaces in Geneva.


Nicholas Cheveldave at Emalin

Nicholas Cheveldave, Untitled, 2019, Courtesy the Artist and Emalin, London.

Nicholas Cheveldave, Untitled (2019). Courtesy the Artist and Emalin, London.

Who: Cheveldave’s collages deal with information taken primarily from commuter newspapers, which rely on advertizing revenue to survive. He interrogates the commodity of empty space, and his work often adopts the floral and flamboyant language of luxury residential developers, which sell a lifestyle and identity alongside their product. Images of nests—and evocations of urban sprawl, overcrowding, and gentrification—pervade the work.

Based in: London, UK

On View: Paris Internationale

Why You Should Pay Attention: Cheveldave studied with the Turner Prize-winner Mark Leckey, and has been with Emalin since he graduated from Goldsmiths in London. His work is in the collections of the Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park in Norway and Beth Rudin DeWoody’s collection.

What to Look Out For: A series of small collage works are on view at the fair.

Prices: The prices for his work generally fall under €10,000. The smaller collages at the fair were priced at €1,600, although his larger works on canvas and paintings on Dibond range from about €5,000 to €8,000.

Up Next: Cheveldave’s work will be exhibited at Emalin as part of Condo London in January.


Gina Fischli at Soft Opening

Installation view of Gina Fischli at Soft Opening. Photo by Nate Freeman.

Installation view of Gina Fischli at Soft Opening. Photo by Nate Freeman.

Who: Fischli is a master of making sculpture that plays with ideas of scale. And her work, which often poses as something sweet, tends to have an undercurrent of menace.

Based in: London, UK

On View: FIAC

Why You Should Pay Attention: Fischli is a graduate of the Urs Fischer studio.

What to Look Out For: One of the more eye-catching works at the fair is Fischli’s The Roberta (2019), a five-meter-wide faux fur purse that fills the entire booth. Hanging from it are gigantic Parisienne tourist-bait trinkets, done up in gold leaf.

Prices: Around 3,500 for a small castle sculpture, and €30,000 for the large purse.

Up Next: The bag is going to the new Fri Art kunsthalle in Fribourg, Switzerland, later this year, and next year Fischli will have her first institutional solo show at 80 WSE in New York.


Paul Maheke at Sultana

Paul Maheke, <i>Ooloi</i> (2019) installed at galerie sultana at Paris Internationale. Photo by Naomi Rea.

Paul Maheke, Ooloi (2019), at galerie sultana at Paris Internationale. Photo by Naomi Rea.

Who: Born in 1985, Maheke is best known as a dancer. His work engages with a queer, black, and a spiritual quest for identity. He also makes videos and installations, and, as you will discover at Paris Internationale, his practice has also recently expanded into object-making.

Based in: London, UK

On View: Paris Internationale

Why You Should Pay Attention: Maheke has been steadily growing his profile over the past few years. In 2017, he was commissioned by Catherine Wood at Tate for its performance festival, and he is currently part of the Venice Biennale’s performance program. He is also on view at the Museum Ludwig in a group show called “Transcorporealities,” through January 2020, and a performance work was recently acquired by the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

What to Look Out For: Two sculptural works are on view at the fair: a small engraving of an owl on glass (a symbol of the night that Maheke uses to throw into question associations of the devil with blackness) and a larger, luminous painting made with Plexiglas, acrylic, Vaseline, and lightbulbs.

Prices: The smaller work at the fair was priced at €3,500, the larger luminous painting at €8,000. More broadly, performance and video works can go for €5,000 to €7,000, and his installations, which incorporate video and performance, can go for €25,000 to €35,000.

Up Next: He is part of the Fondation Ricard’s 2019 prize exhibition, which runs through October 26. Maheke is also participating in Performa in New York in November.

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