5 Breakout Artists to Know at Paris+, From a Brazilian Assemblage Artist to a South African Sculptor Exploring Her Zulu Heritage
Paris+ runs through October 22 at Grand Palais Éphémère.
Curiosity and energy were palpable in the aisles of Paris+ par Art Basel during the fair’s rainy preview days this week, and particularly in the emerging galleries sector, which included 14 galleries. Held in the Grand Palais Éphémère, the second edition of Paris+ was abuzz, with some even speculating that it could trump the dominance of the flaship fair in Switzerland.
We scoured the aisles and selected five promising artists to watch from the talent-packed section for rising talent. Next year, when the fair moves to the opulent Grand Palais after its extensive renovations, there will likely be even more breakout artists to discover.
Jenna Bliss (born 1984)
Who: Jenna Bliss is a filmmaker and multimedia artist who stands out for her humorous, satirical, and critical work that touches on topics including Wall Street, the 2007–2008 financial crisis, as well as modern technology. After attaining an MA in Fine Art Media/History and Theory at London’s Slade School of Fine Art, she was accepted into the Whitney Independent Study Program.
Based in: New York
Showing at: Felix Gaudlitz, Vienna
Prices: €5,500–€15,000 ($5,291–$15,873)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Felix Gaudlitz is presenting a solo booth titled “True Entertainment”—a new series of works by Bliss consisting of a short film and several light boxes. Borrowing the genre of a reality TV show, the fictitious film follows gallery staff setting up their art fair stand with collaged works of celebrities like Britney Spears at what is described as “the most prestigious art fair in the world.” The unnamed venue bears an uncanny resemblance to Art Basel Miami Beach. The film is set in 2007, just months before the Wall Street crash. Also on view are light boxes showing advertising images superposed with Bliss’s photographs of boarded-up storefronts in SoHo taken in the summer of 2020.
Notable Resumé Line: Bliss has garnered substantial institutional interest in Europe. In 2021, she had shows at Stadtgalerie Bern in Switzerland and at Germany’s Kunstverein München. At the latter, in the institution’s Schaufenster vitrine space, she presented The People’s Detox (2018), a film about a revolutionary drug clinic in New York City in the 1970s.
Up Next: Bliss is due to have an exhibition at Haus am Waldsee in Berlin next year.
Pol Taburet (born 1997)
Who: Born in Paris to parents with origins from Guadeloupe, Pol Taburet is primarily known for his striking, dynamic paintings combining figuration and abstraction, although he also makes sculpture. The paintings feature figures with brightly colored bodies that are often set against bold abstract backgrounds. A hallucinogenic atmosphere imbued with spectral characters sometimes permeates his work.
Based in: Paris
Showing at: Balice Hertling, Paris
Prices: €4,000–€50,000 ($4,232–$52,921)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Taburet had his first institutional exhibition earlier this year at Lafayette Anticipations, a venue created by the Galeries Lafayette department store’s foundation and the Moulin family endowment fund. Titled “Opera III: Zoo ‘The Day of Heaven and Hell,’” the exhibition plunged visitors into a domestic interior inhabited by nocturnal visions hovering between reality and hallucination, and populated by open-mouthed and hooded figures amid the artificial lights of a striptease club and theatre. His work is also in the Pinault Collection. Balice Hertling sold one of Taburet’s paintings at Paris+ on preview day.
Notable Resumé Line: Last year, Taburet was the winner of the first edition of the Reiffers Art Initiatives Prize, which is awarded to an emerging French artist. This year, he is one of six artists shortlisted for the 24th edition of the Prix Fondation Pernod Ricard; the winner will be announced on October 20, 2023.
Up Next: Taburet is scheduled to have a solo show at the Longlati Foundation in Shanghai next spring.
Antonio Tarsis (born 1995)
Who: Antonio Tarsis makes geometric, abstract assemblages from thousands of discarded matchboxes and other materials. Three of his arresting works are on view at Carlos/Ishikawa’s stand. Tarsis began making art in 2009 at the age of 14 shortly after his mother died. Raised by his siblings in a favela in northern Brazil, he educated himself by reading art books in a public library, having left school at the age of 12. Unable to afford art materials, Tarsis salvaged used matchboxes and became fascinated by how their exposure to the sun or the rain affected their tonality, prompting him to make monochrome collages and assemblages.
Based in: London and Salvador, Brazil
Showing at: Carlos/Ishikawa, London
Why You Should Pay Attention: In the space of a few years, Tarsis’s experimental practice has greatly expanded. For his first solo show, “Symbolic Genocide,” at Carlos/Ishikawa in 2021, Tarsis presented an embroidered textile work addressing how the Brazilian police disproportionately killed high numbers of young Black men. Earlier this year, Tarsis had his first solo show, “recipe for disaster,” at Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel in São Paulo. Alongside works based on matchboxes, the gallery presented vibrant pieces made by deconstructing and recomposing fruit boxes with other disparate elements as well as new screen prints.
Notable Resumé Line: Last year, Tarsis participated in the 13th edition of the Bienal do Mercosul in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.
Up Next: Carlos/Ishikawa will be presenting a solo show of Tarsis’s work at Art Basel Miami Beach in December.
Simphiwe Buthelezi (born 1996)
Who: Simphiwe Buthelezi draws on her Zulu culture and traditions to make intriguing work featuring weaving and materials such as sand, seeds, beads, and sea shells. Her work revisits ancestral healing rituals and metallurgy. It is also inspired by the practice of farmers to burn their land in order to make it more fertile, how destruction is necessary for rebirth, and the Zulu goddess Nomkhubulwane.
Based in: Capetown
Showing at: Smac, Cape Town
Prices: €1,000–€14,000 ($1,058–$13,227)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Embracing an oceanic theme, Buthelezi’s solo show at Smac is a thought-provoking ensemble of sculptural work. Fondation H in Madagascar has acquired three of the pieces; Smac has sold over 10 of her works at the fair. For the artist, the “protagonist” of her presentation is Vus’Amazwe (Awaken the countries/lands) (2023), a wall hanging composed of weaving and strands of black beading. “I imagine this as a stingray swimming the depths of the ocean and leaving a trail of destruction behind it that forces us to awaken and rebuild,” Buthelezi told Artnet News.
Notable Resumé Line: Buthelezi participated in the inaugural edition of the Young Congo Biennale in Kinshasa in 2019. As part of her participation, she was offered a one-month studio residency at Kin ArtStudio. Her work has also been exhibited at Miart in Milan and fairs in South Africa.
Up Next: Smac will present Buthelezi’s work at Investec Cape Town Art Fair in February and hold a solo show at the gallery next year. Buthelezi has also been offered a residency at Saffca, South African Foundation for Contemporary Art in Brussels.
Jeanne Vicerial (born 1991)
Who: Jeanne Vicerial’s figurative textile sculptures are at the intersection of art and haute couture. Meticulously made from kilometers of threads, her black and white sculptures evoke recumbent and standing statues. Vicerial studied costume and clothing design before embarking on a Ph.D. in fashion design at the École nationale supérieure des Arts décoratifs. She interned with fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, founded her own research and creative studio, and began making sculptures inspired by her textile work during a residency at the Villa Medici in Rome.
Based in: Paris
Showing at: Templon (Paris/Brussels/New York)
Prices: €12,000–€50,000 ($12,701–$52,920)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Vicerial had her first gallery exhibition, “Armors”—a pun on love and armament—at Galerie Templon, Paris, earlier this year. She had previously exhibited at the Basilica of Saint-Denis, among other venues. The gothic Basilica of Saint-Denis was once a burial site for French kings and queens, which inspired Vicerial to make sculptures based on the recumbent statues of queens in the necropolis. Her work is in the collection of the CNAP, France’s national center of visual art. Templon sold her sculpture, priced €22,000 ($23,285), on view at Paris+ on the second preview day.
Notable Resumé Line: Jeanne Vicerial and Leslie Moquin had an exhibition, “Persephone,” at Fondation Thalie in Arles last summer, presenting their collaborative project made at the Villa Medici during the first Covid 19 lockdown. Every day, Vicerial picked flowers in the villa’s gardens and made an ephemeral floral outfit. Moquin photographed Vicerial dressed in her daily creations, documenting her lockdown experience.
Up Next: Vicerial is participating in Contemporaine de Nîmes, a new triennale taking place in the south of France from April 5–June 23, 2024. She will also have a residency at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto in 2025.
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