5 Shows by Emerging Artists You Can See Online

Artsy Editorial
Mar 31, 2020 9:31PM

Lucia Hierro, installation view of “Vecinos/Neighbors” at Primary, 2020. Photo by Zachary Balber. Courtesy of Primary.

While galleries have temporarily closed worldwide due to COVID-19, we can still get inspired by the work of contemporary artists. As part of Artsy’s #ArtKeepsGoing campaign, we’re exploring shows that have been impacted by art spaces going dark. Each week, we’re featuring five gallery exhibitions that you can access via Artsy, with insights from the artists. This week, we’re sharing a selection of fresh work by emerging artists at galleries from Miami to Vienna.

Nate Lewis

Fridman Gallery, New York

Nate Lewis, installation view of “Latent Tapestries” at Fridman Gallery, 2020. Photo by Jason Mandella. Courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery.


Based between New York and Washington, D.C., Nate Lewis offers a multifaceted view of race and history through intricate drawings. For his first solo exhibition in New York, “Latent Tapestries” at Fridman Gallery, Lewis combined elements of photography, sculpture, and drawing to develop complex works that channel music and rhythm—“conduit[s] in connecting shared histories and futures,” he said. Lewis told Artsy that in developing the show, he realized “that different mediums resonate with different emotions, experiences, aspects of life, and truths.” He wanted the work to “destabilize” the viewer, and to feel “unfamiliar.”

The exhibition also debuts Lewis’s first video work, Navigating Through Time (2020), which integrates his interests in movement, sound, and sports in American history. Lewis’s work is also deeply influenced by his experience in the medical field: Prior to becoming a full-time artist, he was a critical-care nurse for nearly a decade. In his ongoing “Signaling” series, he applies textures and patterns inspired by cellular tissue.

A key aspect of the show is its soundtrack, which Lewis described as an “immersive spatial sound installation.” The artist collaborated with several esteemed avant-garde jazz musicians—including Melanie Charles, Ben Lamar Gay, Kassa Overall, Matana Roberts, and Luke Stewart—to create original compositions inspired by the exhibition. Lewis combined their works to create a final composition. “It adds a whole new sensory experience to the show,” he said. You can listen to the soundtrack online.

—Daria Harper

See the show on Artsy.

Sara Bichão

Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon

Sara Bichão, installation view of “Qual é a Coisa, Qual é Ela (What is the Thing, What is It)” at Galerie Filomena Soares, 2020. Photo by Pedro Guimarães. Courtesy of Galerie Filomena Soares, Lisbon.

Portugese artist Sara Bichão’s exhibition “Qual é a Coisa, Qual é Ela” (“What is the Thing, What is It”) opened at Lisbon’s Galeria Filomena Soares just two days before the gallery was forced to shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while Bichão told Artsy she is disappointed that viewers won’t be able to take in the “materiality” of the show in person, the works on display have engaging parallels with the ambient dread that homebound isolation entails.

Bichão called the show a “fable,” though one without a moral direction. Some works seem to grant ambivalent menace to otherwise banal objects—such as a broom wrapped in rubber, which resembles a python’s constricted prey. Others seem to be caught in moments of tension and flexion, like the massive unfolded pocket knives of As facas não mordem (2020), or the vise-grip-as-diorama of Importa-me lá o que seja, quando parte faz clack (2020). “The space whispers the passivity of a landscape but warns you to be aware of a sudden danger,” Bichão explained. The show’s title, then, is apt, and uncomfortably prescient in the landscape of home. “What are these things that surround us?” the works seem to ask. “Are they alive? And more importantly—do they mean us harm?”

—Justin Kamp

See the show on Artsy.

Anna Breit and Luisa Hübner

OstLicht Gallery for Photography, Vienna

The young Vienna-based photographers Anna Breit and Luisa Hübner have turned artmaking into a game. For their exhibition at OstLicht Gallery for Photography, titled “PING PONG #3,” they followed strict parameters: After flipping a coin to determine who went first (Breit won), the artists sent photographs back and forth, using each other’s most recent shots to inspire their next ones. Hübner said it was important that they cede “full control over the whole process.” As the 10-week project evolved, they gained “an open and metaphorical understanding of the theme,” she said.

The submissions all comment—more or less literally—on one central motif: the body. Breit’s pictures feature contorted figures in leotards and white netting; the suggestive center of a leafy plant; a bruised knee (humorously titled Selfie, 2019); and the torso of a woman decked in a spectacular array of pink hues. Hübner, for her part, captures an aging eggplant; a woman sitting in a bathtub with a bubblegum-pink parka and goggles; and a close-up of ripped tights. The artists find connections and inspirations in their palettes, expansive conceptions of femininity, and apparent obsessions with clothing, pattern, and greenery.

“Our photos compliment each other in a really beautiful way, yet are totally different from each other,” said Breit.

—Alina Cohen

See the show on Artsy.

Lucia Hierro

Primary, Miami

Lucia Hierro, installation view of “Vecinos/Neighbors” at Primary, 2020. Photo by Zachary Balber. Courtesy of Primary.

In Primary’s brightly painted space, Lucia Hierro presents objects and symbols from her upbringing in Washington Heights, New York, on a monumental scale. Titled “Vecinos/Neighbors,” the show is the Dominican-American artist’s first solo exhibition in Miami, where she hoped the gallery’s predominantly Haitian and Dominican neighborhood would recognize aspects of their own daily lives in the work.

Drawing on her previous “Mercado” and “Bodegon” series, Hierro’s new body of work is focused on Latinx experiences that have typically been excluded from galleries. With an oversized bag of Goya red kidney beans and Vicks VapoRub in Black Bag Up a Six Floor Walk-Up (2020), Hierro nods to Andy Warhol’s towering Brillo boxes and Campbell’s soup cans. Nearby, a more-than three-foot-tall sculpture of a bag of Domino sugar, titled Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar (2020), speaks to communal care—a theme that is prevalent throughout Hierro’s practice. “A family made this happen,” Hierro shared in a recent email exchange. “The title of the show really shaped the making of the works and mirrors how I work in general.” Now in the midst of a global pandemic, this sense of neighborly support and solidarity is especially critical, but it’s nothing new to Hierro, who now lives and works in the Bronx. “It’s important to understand that certain communities were already supporting each other through hard times,” she said.

—Harley Wong

See the show on Artsy.

Petra Cortright

Team Gallery, New York

Petra Cortright, installation view of “borderline aurora borealis” at Team Gallery, 2020. Courtesy of Team Gallery.

Petra Cortright has seen a fair share of success with her playful, internet-mined multimedia work. Just last year, the Museum of Modern Art acquired the California native’s influential 2007 piece VVEBCAM, and her work will be on view later this year in a group show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

For her first solo exhibition with Team Gallery, Cortright filled the gallery’s Grand Street space with an immersive abstract landscape. Much like the ever-evolving Northern Lights, the focal installation borderline aurora borealis (2020) has many appearances. The work’s depth, color, and scale shift depending on where the viewer stands within the hundreds of translucent layers. “I wanted to make a show that highlighted the process in which I work, and to make it simple for people to see the layers in a very literal, physical way,” Cortright told Artsy.

Cortright is known for creating 2D landscapes by layering painterly marks, pixelated shapes, and seemingly miscellaneous images in Photoshop. She prints the finished product onto materials like aluminum, linen, or glossy paper. Her painting process—which can be seen in other works in the show, like dss hack_”l’histoire de la sociologie” _sexual psychology and ERNEST HEMINGWAY_exotic houseplants+FEMME NIKITA (both 2019)—is echoed at a massive, deconstructed scale in the show’s namesake installation.

“I’ve wanted to do this show for a while now,” Cortright said. “It’s a very simple concept but a very labor and cost intensive show to prep, print, and produce.” Although Cortright admitted that preparation for the show was tedious at times, she said of the experience: “we figured so many things out, and now I wanna do a ton of shows like this :)”

—Sarah Dotson

See the show on Artsy.

Artsy Editorial