Couldn’t Make It to Basel? Here Are 6 Rising-Star Artists That Were Creating Serious Buzz at the Fairs
We scoured the main fair and its edgier sisters Liste and June for the most exciting up-and-coming talent.
Art Basel felt, unsurprisingly, quite different this year. VIPs came early and left early, and by the time the public opening arrived, it felt as if tumbleweeds were rolling through the aisles.
With so much riding on the success of the event inaugurating Europe’s busy fall season, most galleries played it safe by bringing high-quality examples by well-known names.
But in a market moment where people want to be able to say they were there at the beginning, there were still some discoveries to be made at the main fair as well as at satellites Liste and June.
Here are our top picks of the artists generating buzz around town last week. You’re bound to be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Klara Hosnedlová (b. 1990)
Who: The Czech artist makes embroidered compositions in sculptural frames that will stop you in your tracks. She works from digital photographs she stages herself and then recreates pixel by pixel in silk thread on canvas. The final product dances delicately between repulsion and attraction, and takes inspiration from Modern and Brutalist architecture of Central and Eastern Europe.
Based in: Berlin
On view: Berlin gallery Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler showed her work at Art Basel. Her mixed-media sculptures and embroidered compositions were also on view at the trade school Allgemeine Gewerbeschule Basel as part of the fair’s Parcours public art program.
Why you should care: Some of Europe’s top collectors and foundations own Hosnedlová’s work, including Italian collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, the Boros Collection in Berlin, and London’s Valeria Napoleone. The artist is also represented in Germany’s federal contemporary art collection, Beijing’s X Museum, and the Havrlant Art Collection in Prague.
Up next: Her work is on view in the 7th Athens Biennale, “Eclipse” (through November 28).
Felipe Baeza (b. 1987)
Who: Baeza creates work about the body, home, memory, and land that is informed by his identity as a queer Latinx artist. The three works on view at Art Basel were small collages from his “Adiós a Calibán” series, in which he mashes up photographs of Mesoamerican art objects with hyper-sexualized images of body parts and stereotypical gender markers from fashion and porn magazines to comment on the ethnographic gaze often cast over Mesoamerica’s art history and cultural heritage.
Based in: New York
On view: Maureen Paley’s booth at Art Basel and a group show, “Present Generations,” at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio (through May 22, 2022).
Why you should care: Curators and fellow artists are paying close attention to Baeza, who received his MFA from Yale in 2018. He created a mural honoring the role of immigrants and queer people of color in the Coachella Valley for the most recent Desert X biennial in California. He was also a 2019 recipient of the coveted studio fellowship at Titus Kaphar’s NXTHVN as well as the 2017 Robert Schoelkopf Memorial Traveling Fellowship and the 2017 Josef & Anni Albers Foundation Fellowship.
Prices: The small works at the fair were priced at $2,800, but his broader oeuvre ranges from $7,500 to $30,000.
Up Next: Baeza will be included in “Our whole, unruly selves,” a show opening at the San José Museum of Art in November, and Prospect.5 New Orleans, which will open in stages from the end of October.
Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum (b. 1980)
Who: A multidisciplinary artist from Botswana, Phatsimo Sunstrum makes drawings, paintings, installations, and animations that depict simultaneously futuristic and ancient-seeming landscapes based on imagined narratives and mythologies. “Overall my work is telling a story of love and longing, how we all want to belong somewhere, within narratives that honor our full humanity,” the artist has said.
Based in: Toronto and Johannesburg
On view: Goodman Gallery’s booth at Art Basel and the recent exhibition “Born in Flames: Feminist Futures” at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Why you should care: Phatsimo Sunstrum’s work has been shown work at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town and WIELS in Brussels, but has yet to truly break out internationally.
Prices: Her work at the fair—a drawing on wood—sold to a Malaysian private collector in the first hours of opening day for $50,000.
Up Next: Her work will be a highlight of MOCA Toronto’s triennial survey of exciting new artists, “Greater Toronto Art 2021” (September 29, 2021—January 9, 2022).
Diamond Stingily (b. 1990)
Who: An artist who has been likened to Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster or Doris Salcedo, Stingily uses a minimalist aesthetic and readymade objects—synthetic hair, police surveillance lights, a basketball hoop—to make complex statements about violence, childhood, and identity. At Art Basel, visitors were free to collect business cards made especially for her solo presentation, which read: bitch, you gone die.
Based in: New York
On view: Queer Thoughts in Art Basel’s “Statements” section and, soon, a group show of Queer Thoughts gallery artists in New York including Megan Marrin, Chelsea Culprit, and David Rappeneau.
Why you should care: Stingily’s star has been on the rise for several years. She made her solo museum debut at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, in 2018 and was included the New Museum Triennial that same year. (She was also featured in the museum’s well-reviewed 2017 exhibition “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon.”) At Art Basel, her booth sold out.
Prices: Works at the fair ranged from $10,000 to $30,000
Hana Miletić (b. 1982)
Who: Miletić works in two mediums that have been transformed by the digital revolution: textile and photography. For Art Basel, the artist created textiles based on photographs of everyday sites of repair: a car door handle patched up with duct tape, for example, and a broken window covered in tarp. The project didn’t end at the Messeplatz. She had a concurrent show in Prishtina based on photographs taken in Basel; the works in Basel were based on photos from Prishtina.
Based in: Brussels and Zagreb
On view: LambdaLambdaLambda in Art Basel’s Statements sector and the Approach, London, in the main sector
Why you should care: Miletić was selected as one of two winners of the CHF30,000 Baloise Prize, given to the most promising artists in Art Basel’s Statements section. As part of the win, insurance group Baloise will acquire her work and then donate it to the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin and the MUDAM (Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean) in Luxembourg.
Matthew Langan Peck (b. 1988)
Who: With a nod to Claes Oldenburg, Langan-Peck manipulates everyday materials—think plastic bags—into peculiar, intriguing objects like inflatable airplanes or snakes. For Liste, he created larger-than-life eggs in pristine white, speckled brown, and Easter-egg multicolor.
Based in: New York
On view: Paris gallery Édouard Montassut’s Liste booth and a group show at Overduin & Co. titled “Welcome to L.A.” (through October 30).
Why you should care: Montassut’s booth (a two-artist presentation of Langan-Peck and Joanne Robertson) was an opening-day sensation at Liste. All of the works that Langan-Peck is planning to show at MoMA PS1 next month (see below) sold out on the first day.
Prices: Over $10,000
Up Next: Look for the artist’s work at the much-anticipated survey “Greater New York” at MoMA PS1 in Queens, which opens October 7.
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