Here Are 7 Artists Poised to Break Out From Paris’s Jam-Packed Week of Art Fairs
We scouted up-and-coming talent in the aisles of Paris+ by Art Basel, Paris Internationale, and Asia Now.
Art Basel was the talk of the town in Paris last week. After ousting homegrown French fair FIAC from its coveted October slot at the Grand Palais Éphémère, the Swiss heavyweight pulled out all the stops to ensure a rousing turnout for Paris+ by Art Basel, as the fair is officially called.
The emerging galleries section was a particular hit, but collectors were also scouring satellite events like Asia Now and Paris Internationale for up-and-coming talent. The Artnet News Pro team was also on the ground, and here’s who we’ve tapped to break out soon, and why.
Patrick Goddard (b. 1984)
Who: Goddard makes satirical work focused on urban change, gentrification, and ecology. He was showing a film and accompanying installation in Paris+’s buzzy emerging galleries section. Whoopsie’s Dream (priced at €17,000), was a 20-minute surreal comedy starring a villainous fluffy dog which played with anti-immigrant rhetoric. The piece was set within a set of model train dioramas that conjured up nostalgic visions of 1960s England (priced at €10,000), thematically linked to the film, they were complete with with moving trains and overrun by snails.
Based in: London
Showing at: seventeen gallery at Paris+ by Art Basel
Prices: Across his practice, prices range between £10,000 and £40,000, with the upper end covering more ambitious sculptural pieces “along the lines of a wall of 500 cast lead frogs falling from the sky,” per his gallerist.
Why You Should Pay Attention: Miami-based mega-collectors Don and Mera Rubell bought out the entire booth in the early hours of the VIP opening at Paris+. Goddard has been gaining recognition over the years: his work has been included in the British Art Show 9 biennial and at Frieze Sculpture.
Fun Fact: Goddard secretly lived in between the walls of the Goldsmiths studios for a year while he was studying there for his M.A. He discovered a wide enough gap between the partition walls of the studios that he could slip through when security came by before locking up, and he’d get out once they had gone. “I mapped out all the motion detectors in the building so that I could get around in a convoluted way to the toilets without setting off the alarms,” Goddard said. Though the artist finally gave up the game after getting trapped inside the wall with the Norovirus while a tutorial was going on on the other side. “Man that was the longest tutorial ever, I was shaking and trying not to vomit, but didn’t want to climb out right above the tutors head like Gollum.”
Up Next: Goddard’s work will go on view at the Rubell Museum, though the date for an exhibition has not yet been announced.
— Naomi Rea
David L. Johnson (b. 1993)
Who: For his on-going “Loiter” series shown at Paris Internationale, David L. Johnson removed “hostile architecture” or the spiked, metal contraptions covering standpipes along business buildings in public spaces, which he found while wandering through Manhattan. Intended to prevent people from sitting on the pipes (which almost form a kind of seat) and loitering, these trap-like metal gadgets appear violent and decorative at once. Their dark, poetic form takes shape when Johnson hangs them on the wall divorced from context, though at the exact height where he found them. Johnson works with video, photography, found and stolen objects. Throughout his practice, the artist looks at ways society has segregated bodies using artificial barriers dividing public and private territories.
Based in: New York
Showing at: Theta at Paris Internationale
Prices: Below $10,000 on average
Why You Should Pay Attention: Though not yet officially represented by a gallery, Johnson has garnered a lot of curatorial interest. He is included in a current group show at Moma PS1, and his first commercial gallery show in 2021 with Theta in New York (founded in 2021) received rave reviews. He is a recent fellow of the Whitney Independent Study program and received the Charles Addams Memorial Prize at University of Pennsylvania in 2020, awarded to graduating MFA students who show outstanding talent and achievement. His work continues to interest international curators and art institutions, and all but one of the several pieces on view was sold by midway through the last day of the fair.
Fun Fact: In 2018, while studying in Philadelphia, the artist noticed barricades and a large police presence guarding then still-standing monument to the city’s former mayor Frank Rizzo, infamous for his racist ideology. Johnson began researching the mayor’s legacy and saw a connection between Rizzo’s militarized policies and how the monument was being heavily policed. After initially filming the monument for Public Deferral (2018-2021) the statue was later removed due to protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Johnson decided to return to the now absent monument’s location, and document how people experienced the space, where barricades were still kept nearby, at the ready.
Up Next: The artist’s work is on view until January 16, 2023 in a group show at MoMA PS1 titled “Life Between Buildings.” He also has an exhibition in 2023 with Galerie Noah Klink, Berlin.
My-Lan Hoang-Thuy (b. 1990)
Who: My-Lan Hoang-Thuy uses her body as her “first tool” when painting in limited, minimal gestures onto small-format, dried scraps of textured acrylic paint, on which she also prints photographs. The works are personal portraits, which evoke her autobiography and being raised by parents who fled Vietnam for France during the war, leaving behind a life of luxury.
Symbols of her family’s obsession with their fall from high society can be found in the glitter and glitz that the artist adds to the surface of her painting-sculptures, and they correspond to her ongoing research into and awareness of exterior markers of class. Her hatred of judgement based on such symbols is one reason she refuses to categorize her artwork as painting, sculpture or photography, arguing that doing so rids the work of its life force.
Based in: Paris
Showing at: Galerie Mitterrand at Asia Now
Prices: Works range from €2,500 to €6,000.
Why You Should Pay Attention: The artist’s solo show at Asia Now was a favorite at the fair, where her works sold well (about 10 pieces by the afternoon of preview day), and attracted curatorial interest. She won the Prix des Amis des Beaux-Arts, plus the photography prize for graduates of the École des Beaux-arts de Paris in 2018. Chosen for a residency at the Domaine du Muy, in France this year, she has also been in group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Biennale Artpress des Jeunes Artistes, Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne.
Fun Fact: The artist maintains a darkly humorous attitude about always being told by her parents that she was in fact an aristocrat, due to her family’s former wealthy status in Vietnam. Even as a child, however, the contrast of that often-repeated narrative with a very different reality struck My-Lan Hoang-Thuy, given that she grew up in low-income French projects, with poor financial means. One reason she began making art, was because her family could not afford to go on vacations during school holidays, so she occupied her days by making creative works of various kinds at home.
Up Next: In October 2023, the artist will have a solo exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris.
Guglielmo Castelli (b. 1987)
Who: The Italian artist, who began his career working in theater, creates compositions in which figures twist, stretch, or are caught in the moment right before they fall and tumble to the ground. His subjects—which he prefers to call “actors” or “characters”—are often depicted inside a defined space: on stage, in vitrines, or even hiding in a closet.
Based in: Turin, Italy
Showing at: Mendes Wood DM at Paris+ by Art Basel
Prices: Castelli’s works start at $20,000; they have not yet cracked six figures.
Why You Should Pay Attention: After a sold-out show at Mendes Wood in Brussels in 2021, there were so many collectors eager to get their hands on Castelli’s work that the gallery hasn’t rushed placing the suite of pantings he created especially for Paris+. Instead, it is slowly apportioning them out to the right buyers. Castelli’s work is already in the collections of the Castello di Rivoli in Turin (where he is currently in the group show “Espressioni,” curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev), the Blenheim Art Foundation in the U.K., and Samdani Art Foundation in Bangladesh.
Fun Fact: As a costume and set designer, one of Castelli’s favorite tasks was to work as a trovarobe, the Italian term for the person who assembles all the props and makes sure they are arranged just so before the action begins.
Up Next: A solo show at Mendes Wood DM’s recently opened space in New York in March 2023. There is also a new monograph in the works.
Hilary Balu (b. 1992)
Who: Balu creates large-scale engrossing and meticulous paintings that explore how colonial history, the slave trade and migration have shaped contemporary African societies. He reinterprets stylistic characteristics of Western Old Master artists for the backdrop of his paintings that encompass a rich tapestry of ideas.
On display at Magnin-A (founded by André Magnin) were works from two series: “In the Floods of Illusions” and “From Fantasy to Escape.” In the former, young Black men wearing helmets that read “See the World” are depicted against a raging sea inspired by J.M.W. Turner’s seascapes, alluding to the risks and dangers of migrating to Europe—a kind of “Afrodystopia,” a utopian dream that becomes dystopian. In the latter, figures—such as a young man and a child riding a crocodile—are portrayed against a lush landscape inspired by Frans Post’s A Brazilian Landscape, in reference to how enslaved Africans were taken to the Americas to work on plantations.
Based in: Kinshasa; currently on a residency program near Paris
Showing at: Magnin-A at Paris+ by Art Basel
Prices: €60,000 to €70,000 ($59,000 to $69,000)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Magnin-A sold seven out of the eight paintings that Balu had made for the debut edition of Paris+. Balu was invited on the residency program of Black Rock in Senegal, founded by Kehinde Wiley, and his work has also been shown at 1-54, among other venues.
Fun Fact: As a child, Balu spent his free time copying cinema images, trailers, and posters. He is a graduate of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Kinshasa.
Up Next: Magnin-A is planning to have a solo show of Balu’s work in the next few years.
Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg (b.1987)
Who: Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg is a German multimedia artist who reflects upon aspects of art history, representation, and philosophy in her practice. At Paris+, Efremidis (founded by Stavros Efremidis and Tom Woo) presented a solo booth of her work questioning how horses have been traditionally used to symbolize power in stately monuments. Turning this on its head, Dunkelberg created a sculpture of a roughly carved, hastily painted orange wooden horse resting upon cushions made from found and produced fabric. Suspended sculptures, made with laser-cut and torch-blown metal and colored, handblown glass forms, revisited the archetype of a chandelier, while humorous drawings—like one of a horse wearing sunglasses—adorned a wall.
Based in: Berlin
Showing at: Efremidis in the Galeries Emergentes sector of Paris+ by Art Basel
Prices: €4,000 to €16,500 ($3,930 to $16,200)
Why You Should Pay Attention: Dunkelberg’s work has been shown at the Boros Foundation; the artist has also had a solo show at Kunstraum Potsdam in Germany.
Fun Fact: Dunkelberg has an MFA in Sculpture from Berlin’s University of the Arts, where she studied in the class of German artist Manfred Pernice. She also studied philosophy, illustration, and design.
Up Next: Dunkelberg is participating in a group exhibition, “New Meditations,” at the MODEM Modern and Contemporary Arts Centre in Debrecen, Hungary, running until January 22, 2023. Office Impart from Berlin will be presenting her work at Art Cologne next month.
Who: Raphaël Barontini is a French painter whose work layers images into new narratives, reframing the history of colonization and slavery. His large-scale tableaux, which combines mixed media from silkscreening to photo print to traditional painting, can take various forms: canvases, flags, tapestries, and clothing have all borne Barontini’s pictorial stories. The 38-year-old artist had his first solo exhibition with Mariane Ibrahim this summer, and his work has been exhibited at the Museum of African Diaspora and the SCAD Museum, among others.
Based in: Saint-Denis
Showing at: Mariane Ibrahim at Paris+ by Art Basel
Prices: The piece at Mariane Ibrahim’s booth was listed at €60,000.
Why You Should Pay Attention: According to one collector I spoke with, Ibrahim emphatically did not allow any pre-sales ahead of the fair, and as soon as the clock struck 11 a.m. during the VIP opening, the entire booth had sold out to two collectors who—and perhaps this was just a little bit exaggerated—sprinted to the booth. I heard this story and went to the gallery representative, who told me that much of the attention during the fair went to Barontini’s work on the stand.
Fun Fact: Much of Barontini’s artistic inspiration comes from the writing of West Indian writer Edouard Glissant, who was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 1992. His most famous work is “Poetics of Relation,” which explores the gradient of knowledge from the opaque to the translucent.
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