Miss Discovering New Artists? Here Are Five Up-And-Coming Talents Whose Work You Can Check Out This Summer

Lai Chiu-Chen, The Black Cat Rises the Mountain One Meter Up (2017). Courtesy of Eli Klein Gallery.

August is typically a sleepy month in the art world, but in this unusual year, it marks the reopening of many galleries internationally, which have finally been able to hang new shows and welcome (limited) visitors by appointment.

It’s been a long running tradition at galleries to debut their lesser-known artists during the summer lull, and in that sense, this year proves no exception with galleries showcasing the work of a range of talented artists whose work you might not know yet—but should. 

Here are five artists with work on view this summer that you can see in person, in cities around the world, or virtually.


Onur Hasturk, “Assimilation” at Anna Laudel, Düsseldorf 

Anna Laudel Onur Hasturk Odalisque with Tambourine 2020

Onur Hasturk, Odalisque with Tambourine (2020). Courtesy of Anna Laudel.

Trained in the classical art of Ottoman miniature painting, artist Onur Hastürk mixes these references with those of Western artists who have drawn from Islamic art and culture, from Henri Matisse to Andy Warhol, to create transcultural and transhistorical dialogues. 


Beatriz Chachamovits, “Symbiote” at the Contemporary Art Modern Project Gallery, Miami

Beatriz Chachamovits, Coralpile 11 (2020). Courtesy of the Contemporary Art Modern Project Gallery.

Beatriz Chachamovits, Coralpile 11 (2020). Courtesy of the Contemporary Art Modern Project Gallery.

During quarantine, environmental artist Beatriz Chachamovits found herself tempted to do something she hadn’t done in a decade: add color to her work. And not just a little color, but bold, ravishing hues. The artist, who has documented the endangered states of coral reefs for decades, says she found herself needing to reaffirm life “‘Coral Pile’… is a reflection of the state I crave to be in. To be closer to people. To be hugged by my loved ones. To be touched even by strangers,” she wrote in a statement. The resultant works are vibrant hopeful visions of what a restored natural environment could be.


Lai Chiu-Chen, “99% Unreal” at Eli Klein Gallery, New York

Eli Klein Gallery Lai Chiu Chen A Hot Dog with Great Comprssive Strength 2016

Lai Chiu Chen, A Hot Dog with Great Compressive Strength (2016). Courtesy of Eli Klein Gallery.

For his debut US solo show, Taiwanese artist Lai Chiu-Chen will be showcasing 15 paintings made between 2012 and 2019. His references are a mix of pop culture images set within deceptively tumultuous settings with anthropomorphized emoji-like animals, geometric shapes, and foods threatened by natural disasters.


Raul Illarramendi, “Offerings” at Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris

Galerie Karsten Greve Raul Illarramendi Offering Fragment no 1 2019

Raul Illarramendi, Offering Fragment No 1 (2019). Courtesy of Galerie Karsten Greve.

Venezuelan-born artist Raúl Illarramendi’s third solo show with Galerie Karsten Greve, “Offerings,” takes inspiration from an event in his native Caracas: On the night of July 29, 1967, a major earthquake shook the city and surrounding towns, resulting in a scene of devastation. The Caracas Cathedral, however, was left mostly untouched, except for the cast-iron cross that fell from its spire. In the days that followed, accounts emerged that the earthquake ceased the moment the cross touched the ground, leading witnesses to claim a miracle. After a few days, the government confiscated the cross and it disappeared from view. Illarramendi uses an enigmatic historical photograph of the cross tumbled onto the asphalt as his inspiration for this new series of works, in which he creates tracings that mix his family history, memory, political upheaval, and surreal sensibility to create layered ghostly compositions.


Joseph Eze, “Return to the (Sur)Real” at LITTY | Contemporary, Cape Town

Joseph Eze, Construction Site 2 (2019). Courtesy of Litty Contemporary.

Joseph Eze, Construction Site 2 (2019). Courtesy of LITTY Contemporary.

Nigerian artist Joseph Eze incorporates elements of painting, sculpture, and installation to create colorful portraits that weave fashion history, beauty trends, and textile patterns into larger political landscapes and narratives.

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