Stars in the Making? Here Are 6 Breakout Artists to Watch From Art Basel 2022 and the Surrounding Fairs
We scoured the aisles of Art Basel, Liste, Volta, June and more art fairs to bring you a list of artists who are going places.
The art business was decidedly back to normal in Switzerland last week, as the mega-fair Art Basel returned to its summer dates after a long pandemic hiatus. And the Artnet News Pro team was on the ground, scoping out the main event as well as all the satellite fairs, including Liste, Volta and June.
We returned with a few names that, after a close look and conversations with dealers, advisors, and collectors, we believe are poised to become a bigger part of art-world conversations in the coming years. Allow us to introduce you to some of them below.
Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. (b. 1993)
Who: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. makes striking in-camera photographs and photo-based installations that offer viewers an intimate look inside the many facets of life as a queer Black person in 21st-century America. While their earlier work often featured unguarded images of their own circle of friends, family, and lovers, the artist’s latest pieces meld themes of privacy and interiority with explorations of light, reflection, and refraction, often using architectural elements like windows, screens, and mirrors. The end results pack a visual punch on par with top-notch abstract painting while simultaneously staying grounded in a lived reality with broader personal and cultural meaning.
Based in: New York City
Showing at: Nicelle Beauchene, in Art Basel’s Statements sector
Prices: The photos on the stand ranged from $5,000 to $16,000 each; the installation was priced at $38,000. Multiple works were placed with collectors during the run of the fair (including one while this writer was standing in the booth).
Why You Should Pay Attention: The artist completed a well-received solo show at Beauchene’s New York headquarters earlier this year, and since 2018 their work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Swiss Institute, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among several other institutions. The latter two are also among those that have acquired Brown Jr.’s works for their permanent collections.
Fun Fact: Brown Jr. captured one of the photos included in Beauchene’s Art Basel presentation during a spare moment in an editorial shoot for a major style publication, though the image itself would never suggest as much.
Up Next: The artist’s work is on view through mid-July in a group show at Tone, a Memphis, Tennessee-based institution for Black arts and culture. It will also be included in the Racial Imaginary Institute Biennial at the City University of New York’s James Gallery starting this September.
– Tim Schneider
Eva Beresin (b. 1955)
Who: The Hungarian-born painter, now in her 60s, has only recently found recognition for her colorful and distorted paintings depicting herself and her family in quasi-innocuous day-to-day scenarios, which are tinged with both humor and a sense of the grotesque. Occasionally, she also makes sculptures based on her paintings.
Based in: Vienna
Showing at: Amsterdam-based gallery Althuis Hofland Fine Arts at June
Prices: Her smaller paintings are available for around €9,000 to €10,000 ($9,446 to $10,491), medium-sized examples at the €21,000 ($22,042) mark, and her largest paintings are priced at €45,000 ($47,232).
Why You Should Pay Attention: Beresin is rapidly gaining traction in the art world, and her work was acquired by the Albertina Museum in Vienna earlier this year. At June, everything sold early in the week, mostly to European collectors from Holland and Spain, but with interest reflecting her global collector base.
Fun Fact: Beresin was “discovered” and catapulted out of obscurity by the artist, NFT advocate, art world provocateur, and Artnet News columnist Kenny Schachter on Instagram, who started promoting her work at Felix art fair in Los Angeles right before the pandemic. Since then, interest has exploded.
Up Next: Beresin will have a show coming up at a private museum in Ibiza, La Nave Salinas Foundation, opening on July 16.
Daya Cahen (b. 1969)
Who: The Dutch artist and filmmaker makes political work, often focused on the power of mass media and other systems of manipulation, indoctrination, or propaganda. She works primarily in film, and her work at the fair comes from her time spent documenting a radical youth camp in Russia affiliated with Vladimir Putin in 2007. Called Nashi, the movement aims to convert youth into patriots set on fulfilling Putin’s dreams of a Great Russian Empire in the 21st century. She also makes installations, sound pieces, and photographs.
Based in: Amsterdam
Showing at: Amsterdam-based gallery Stigter van Doesburg at June
Prices: The first edition of the film was sold to a museum for an undisclosed price, but edition 2 of 3 is priced at €15,000 ($15,744) and 3 of 3 is €20,000 ($20,992).
Why You Should Pay Attention: Cahen’s film at the fair feels particularly prescient against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it is no wonder her poignant work has been shown at museums from MK Galerie Berlin to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Dumbo Arts Center NY, and Kunstmuseum Bonn. The first edition of her film was sold from the fair to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.
Fun Fact: The gallery first encountered her work when Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academy was presenting some of their most promising graduates during the Venice Biennial in 2009.
Up Next: Cahen is busy working on an ambitious film project about the Uyghur genocide in the Chinese province of Xinjiang that will be finished at the end of 2022. The piece will be shown at the gallery in 2023.
Michael Halak (b. 1975)
Who: Michael Halak was born in 1975 in Fassuta village in Upper Galilee, Israel. Though remarkably skilled in hyperrealistic painting, his artworks can give the illusion of reality that instead becomes like a demarcation of hybrid societies and worlds splintered and torn apart.
Based in: Haifa, Israel
Showing at: Tabari Artspace, Dubai
Prices: $7,250 to $15,500
Why You Should Pay Attention: Halak’s work often conveys feelings of disillusionment and abandonment, landscapes near and dear to him but that remain—due to war and conflict—impenetrable. He has shown at the Florence Academy of Art, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, and Haifa Museum of Art, and received the Rappaport Prize for Young Artists, the Young Artist Prize from the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and a Scholarship from the America–Israel Cultural Foundation.
Fun Fact: Born into a Palestinian Christian family, Halak’s work is often concerned with ideas of displacement, absence, memory and oblivion. His latest work at Volta Basel is a rendering of a mountain vista in Lebanon he has been unable to visit since he was a child.
Up Next: An upcoming showcase of new works at Abu Dhabi Art in November 2022.
Ryohei Usui (b. 1983)
Who: Born in Shizuoka on the south coast of Japan, Ryohei Usui is among a younger generation of Japanese contemporary artists who have been gaining attention locally and abroad with the poetic, pictorial installations of his unusually polished glass sculptures inspired by everyday objects. “I often present the solid glass in combination with different materials… to create a composition with contrast and harmony,” the artist says.
Based in: Tokyo, Japan
Showing at: Tokyo-based gallery Mujin-To Production at Liste
Prices: $2,111 to $7,391
Why You Should Pay Attention: They might look ordinary at first glance, but visitors walking up close at Mujin-To Production’s booth at Liste were in awe when they realized that the seemingly ordinary objects—such as disposable plastic bottles—were in fact heavy, solid glass sculptures that were delicate at the same time. They might be sitting on a bench, or a stool, as if they were abandoned and discarded.
Fun Fact: The artist has been trying to collect and find objects in daily scenes while transforming them into something else, drawing references from the ancient Japanese culture of mise-en-scene. The glass work series titled PET (portrait of encountered things) was developed from a photography series taken on the streets of Tokyo, which he started working on in 2008.
Up Next: The gallery has yet to announce Usui’s new plans yet but his works are the collection in Hong Kong’s M+ and Rennie Museum in Canada.
– Vivienne Chow
Andrés Matías Pinilla (b. 1988)
Who: Andrés Matías Pinilla is a Colombian multi-media artist who explores the realms of human knowledge from a holistic perspective, recognizing the ethnic, sexual, racial, philosophical, and cosmological plurality of the human species.
Based in: Bogotá, Colombia
Showing at: Bogotá-based gallery Foro Space at Liste Art Fair
Why You Should Pay Attention: There’s a pineapple-masked chimpanzee sitting on the floor holding a flat TV screen, leaning against a striking orange wall decorated with paper drawings of deities, tiny duck decoys traveling interdimensionally, and mixed media drawing materials from local tradition. The artist’s colorful Liste booth reflects the conditions of the world in the post-pandemic era and contemplates alternative futures, with a hint of humor and spirituality.
Fun Fact: Pinilla is an amateur singer of romantic ballads in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, who performs both the male and female parts. He loves karaoke.
Up Next: The artist is currently working on an interdisciplinary platform called “caliente, cal!ente,” a project of creation, research, and shared practices for artists.
– Vivienne Chow
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