22 Artists to Discover at New York’s September Fairs
Ahead of New York’s highly anticipated September fairs, we connected with galleries to hear about the artists they’re showcasing this week. Below, we share a selection of emerging and established names whose works are not to be missed at The Armory Show, Future Fair, and Independent New York—and on Artsy.
The Armory Show, False Flag, Booth P16
In the past year, Alteronce Gumby has become known as one of the most promising abstract painters working today. Through careful modulations of light, shadow, and color—he often uses deep blues, greens, and purples, and incorporates gemstones and glass—Gumby reinvigorates principles of Minimalism and the Light and Space movement. His shimmering, textured canvases are singular, spiritual expressions. The Yale MFA grad has received high praise this year, particularly in the wake of solo shows at False Flag and Charles Moffett Gallery, and his first monograph, which includes an interview with Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent and an essay by curator Ashley James.
Future Fair, Tatjana Pieters, Booth R2
Dutch artist Anneke Eussen mines building sites and old cars for shards of antique glass and slabs of marble that become the stars of her elegant, minimal works. With nods to the ready-made and Arte Povera, Eussen recontextualizes her found materials in simple plexiglass frames, giving them new meaning as works of art, while hinting at their past lives as functional objects. Eussen opened her debut New York solo show at Marinaro in March of this year and, following Tatjana Pieters’s presentation at Future Fair, will have a solo exhibition at Chicago-based gallery Paris London Hong Kong later this year.
The Armory Show, Shulamit Nazarian, Booth P34
Annie Lapin’s latest color-soaked paintings on Yupo paper are steeped in lush hues and roiling with gesture; foreground and background intermingle as hints of finely detailed figuration shine through. In Slipscape 2 (2020), for example, a creeping, manicured hand and the bottom half of a horse mix with stains of color and a blue sky dotted with clouds. These delightfully engrossing and enigmatic works are debuting at The Armory Show with Shulamit Nazarian, alongside canvases that similarly piece together moments of realism and abstraction in a brilliantly unpredictable way. The Los Angeles–based Lapin has held solo shows with Shulamit Nazarian and Miles McEnery Gallery in recent years; she’ll have a new show with the latter gallery in New York in 2022.
The Armory Show, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Booth F24
Carla Jay Harris has long used mythology in her work as a tool to make sense of reality. Her series “Celestial Bodies” (2018–20) reflects her personal experiences as an American kid growing up outside the United States, picturing Black and Brown protagonists navigating mystical landscapes. Her newest pieces, featured at The Armory Show and in her current solo show with Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, “A Season in the Wilderness,” build upon her earlier body of work, responding to the circumstances of the pandemic and the social and political unrest that ensued.
Future Fair, Western Exhibitions, Booth R2
Deb Sokolow’s diligent geometric drawings consider the social and power dynamics that permeate the architecture of homes, institutions, and businesses. Her works are quasi blueprints, mapping out the floor plans of mostly fictitious spaces, executed with such exacting detail that it’s hard to tell that they’re drawn by hand. Some works are inspired by real spaces Sokolow has encountered, including offices, museums, and a historic house where she once saw a ghost.
The Armory Show, James Fuentes, Booth F3
On the heels of a solo presentation with M+B this past July, Didier William is debuting fresh works this month at The Armory Show with James Fuentes and opening a solo show at Altman Siegel in San Francisco. The Philadelphia-based Haitian artist has become highly sought after for his dynamic figurative works featuring robust, faceless bodies navigating enigmatic landscapes. William’s works often reflect on issues related to immigration, representations of the body, and his own Haitian heritage.
The Armory Show, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Booth P31
Donté K. Hayes infuses his Afrofuturist ceramic sculptures with elements of hip-hop, science fiction, and American history. He draws on the visual cultures of the American South, the Caribbean, Africa, and South America; for example, past works have considered the form and symbolism of the pineapple—a fruit that has come to represent welcoming and hospitality in the United States, but ironically has deep ties to slavery and colonialism. His works have been shown at Chicago’s Museum of Science + Industry, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Atlanta, the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, and Design Miami/.
The Armory Show, 1969 Gallery, Booth P12
A recent graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design’s MFA painting program, Jarrett Key is swiftly making a name for themself through their singular cement paintings. Applying oil paint to wet cement, the young artist refreshes traditional fresco techniques while foregrounding their own personal narratives, including memories from growing up in rural Alabama. Key will have a solo show at 1969 Gallery in March 2022 and was recently featured in the group show “This is America” at Kunstraum Potsdam in Germany.
The Armory Show, The Pit, Booth P14
Jennifer Rochlin first took up ceramics as a way to expand her practice beyond the two-dimensional canvas. Trained as a painter, Rochlin creates handbuilt terra-cotta vessels that allude to ceramic traditions while embracing the medium’s capacity to absorb gesture, impact, and chance. Rochlin brushes her works with loose streaks and swathes of underglazes and glazes, and often uses the sgraffito technique to inscribe her works with drawings inspired by her own experiences, popular culture, and art history. In 2020, Rochlin had solo shows at The Pit in Los Angeles, Maki Gallery in Tokyo, and Greenwich House Pottery in New York.
Future Fair, Superposition, Booth R5
In her first solo presentation at an art fair, Layo Bright is showing seven new sculptures, all recently created during her fellowship at NXTHVN, the acclaimed New Haven–based arts incubator founded by Titus Kaphar, Jason Price, and Jonathan Brand. The Lagos, Nigeria–born artist addresses issues including migration, colonialism, and gender in her works; she often incorporates textiles and found materials like the plastic plaid bags frequently associated with displacement. This year, Bright has been featured in group shows at Welancora Gallery, Monique Meloche Gallery, and Anthony Gallery; her work will be included in a group show the Alliance Française of Lagos, as well as the 2021 International Biennale of Glass at the National Gallery of Bulgaria in Sofia.
The Armory Show, Jessica Silverman Gallery, Booth 207
Over the past decade, Margo Wolowiec has earned due recognition for her dynamic, woven textiles that reflect on and process the multitude of images we consume every day. Known for striation-filled pieces that bring together imagery culled from the internet, like storm patterns or social media fodder, her works also feature traces of the tools of their making, embracing the flaws that can arise while using a hand loom. Wolowiec’s recent works incorporate her signature polymer thread and dye sublimation transfer, as well as silver leaf thread and shiny mylar from emergency preparedness kits. Born and based in Detroit, Wolowiec is currently featured in the major traveling museum survey “The Regional,” which showcases contemporary artists of the Midwestern United States.
Future Fair, Over the Influence, Booth F1
Mario Joyce’s figurative paintings spotlight Black subjects in moments of leisure or in straightforward portraits, their gaze staring straight into the viewer’s eyes. The self-taught artist combines bold dashes and strokes of paint with collage, filling his works with a mélange of texture and jewel-toned colors. Joyce addresses the discrimination he’s felt personally, and conducts genealogical research to better understand past roots of present day prejudices.
Future Fair, Dominique Gallery, Booth R5
In her work, Marryam Moma foregrounds the Black experience, and specifically uplifts Black women. The Atlanta-based artist creates works that counter stereotypes and perceptions surrounding the Black female body. At Future Fair, Los Angeles’s Dominique Gallery is presenting elegant collages by Moma that incorporate a minimal combination of photographs, texture, and color to create striking, serene portraits that encourage reflection and convey notions of joy, hope, and healing.
Independent New York, Magenta Plains
Earlier this year, Magenta Plains put on a much-lauded solo show of paintings from the 1980s by New York–based artist Martha Diamond. Works from the same decade are being featured at Independent New York, demonstrating the artist’s loose, brushy impressions of the city, at once ominous and charming, often featuring slices of architecture. Diamond’s works encapsulate the city in a way only a New Yorker can; she grew up in Stuyvesant Town and has been painting from a studio on the Bowery since 1969.
Independent New York, REYES | FINN
Nikita Gale’s striking conceptual sculptures and installations highlight the ways material culture absorbs and reflects dominant political, social, and economic power structures. Made from industrial and natural processes alike, her works often consider the politics of sound and space, incorporating materials that typically absorb or amplify sound, or encroach upon public space. Prior to her presentation at Independent with REYES | FINN this week, Gale had solo shows this year at 56 Henry in New York and Anchorage Museum in Alaska, and she debuted the newly commissioned video series SOME WEATHER (2021) on public screens in London, Tokyo, and Seoul via Chisenhale Gallery and the online art platform CIRCA.
The Armory Show, Simon Lee Gallery, Booth 122
For the esteemed British artist Rachel Howard, paint is not just a medium but also a subject, a substance for experimentation, and a means of channeling emotion. Howard has long been fascinated with the material qualities of oil paint, its potential to convey tension, and the connection between process and a finished artwork. Howard’s works are as much about the outcome—which may appear figurative or abstract—as they are about the way she felt upon applying paint to canvas.
The Armory Show, Albertz Benda, Booth 336
Sharif Bey creates dynamic ceramic sculptures that delve into the histories and contemporary resonances of culturally significant objects. He addresses the obscured histories of artifacts like nkisi nkondi—Congolese power figures that were used to repel evil and swear oaths—which were stripped of their original contexts as they entered the Western world as a result of colonization and looting. His series of oversized necklaces examines the power and politics of adornment; the works, too large and heavy to actually wear, explore “the challenge of sustaining cultural identity, which is sometimes burdensome and discomfiting in the context of globalization,” Bey has said. After showing at The Armory Show, the artist will open “Excavations,” a solo show at the Carnegie Museum of Art that will be on view from October 2, 2021, through March 6, 2022.
The Armory Show, Halsey McKay, Booth F23
Iranian American artist Sheree Hovsepian has long experimented with photography techniques and is becoming increasingly known for her dynamic assemblages that delve into the medium’s materiality. In these works, Hovsepian often surrounds her own black-and-white images of the body with white string, slices of wood, and pieces of ceramic, all set against black backdrops and encased in custom frames. These spare, graceful combinations of bodily forms and simple geometries consider the external forces and structures that shape individuals’ sense of self.
Independent New York, Peres Projects
Stanislava Kovalcikova’s beguiling figurative paintings feel otherworldly, despite drawing on various art historical traditions. The Slovakian-born artist mines inspiration for her dramatic canvases from elaborate Renaissance compositions, gilded Eastern Orthodox icons, and the sexual awakening that permeated 18th-century art of the Enlightenment. The resulting works are dark and delightfully enigmatic. Kovalcikova, who studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under artists Tomma Abts and Peter Doig, has forthcoming solo shows at 15orient in New York and Peres Projects in Berlin.
Future Fair, Stems Gallery, Booth F2
The Canadian artist Tristram Lansdowne creates hyperrealistic watercolors that push the viewer to reconsider the architecture and aesthetics of the spaces we encounter and inhabit. His latest works examine domestic spaces devoid of human figures, homing in on closely cropped windowscapes that foreground the relationship between interior and exterior. Lansdowne’s incredible precision with watercolor reinforces the works’ commentary on the way we control and orchestrate our physical surroundings.
The Armory Show, Whitestone Gallery, Booth 229
Tsuyoshi Maekawa was a member of the second generation of the Gutai group from 1962 to 1972, during which time he created bold, gestural paintings that resembled Abstract Expressionism. Maekawa continued to explore the material properties of paintings through the latter half of his career, during which time he took to using burlap. He manipulated the rough, raw textile with glue and oil paint, developing works that were rich in texture and dimension. Now in his eighties, Maekawa was recently featured in shows at Karuizawa New Art Museum in Nagano and Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art.
The Armory Show, Chambers Fine Art, Booth 125
The Shanghai-born, Bay Area–based artist Zheng Chongbin is known for large-scale installations, which he has created for prominent institutions including San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum and LACMA, though he also pursues a dynamic painting practice. Combining Eastern and Western materials, from ink and Yuan paper to acrylics, he creates vibrating abstractions in shades of gray that recall slabs of marble and stormy skies. Zheng draws inspiration from the Light and Space movement and the environment of the Bay Area, where he’s lived for over three decades. In addition to his presentation at The Armory Show, Zheng is the focus of a solo show, “Levity and Gravity,” in New York presented by Chambers Fine Art and Shin Gallery, on view through September 12th.