8 Galleries You Should Know Beyond the Art World Capitals
New York, Venice, Berlin—the art world can seem like a limited landscape. The global art fair Art15, which opens its third iteration in London later this month, casts a wider net than many, with 150 galleries from over 40 different countries. We’re not just talking about Kenya and Korea, but also smaller outfits from remote European villages, rubbing shoulders with world-class institutions. For those looking for a truly varied reach, here are some of the must-see booths from outside the international collector’s usual itinerary of major worldwide cities.
Gallery SoSo, Paju, South Korea
Paju is located close to the demilitarized zone dividing South Korea from its very different neighbor, North Korea—and like the rest of the country it is economically prospering. Nestling in Heyri Art Village—originally backed by the government and now working as a collective—Gallery SoSo is part of a community of several hundred creatives and a string of reputable local galleries now building momentum. In London, look out for SoSo’s presentation of In Kyum Kim and Seung Un Chung, whose previous installation Skyline (2009) rendered the local skyline in Korean ink and plywood.
Son Espace Gallery, Vestfossen, Norway
Split between dual bases in Vestfossen, a small village in Norway, and Girona, in northeastern Spain, Son Espace will present Danish-born artist Morten Viskum at Art15. Viskum is known for provocative projects—his 1995 installation Rotte/oliven prosjektet (Rat/Olives Project) gained him notoriety after he replaced the contents of olive jars in supermarkets around Norway with baby rodents.
CCA Galleries, Tilford, UK
The initialism of this gallery’s name hints at its origins as Christie’s Contemporary Art, though it became independent from the auction house in 1985. It is still a leading purveyor of limited-edition prints, despite being located in the heart of the Home Counties, southwest of London. The gallery sells the work of artists including the great Pop artist and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) cover creator Sir Peter Blake and abstractionist Sir Terry Frost. The gallery will bring to London the work of eclectic painter and sculptor Bruce McLean, along with Storm Thorgerson—who designed the cover of Pink Floyd’s acclaimed 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon—and the up-and-coming Lucy Farley, who specializes in painting and printmaking.
Sardac, Lectoure, France
Sardac’s presentation at Art15 will feature work by a Londoner—mixed-media artist Steve Goddard—but its base of operations is located across Europe, in the heart of the Midi-Pyrénées. British expats Rowan and Colette Shulver, who founded Sardac in 2012, settled in the area a decade ago and now specialize in expressionism, outsider art, and CoBrA, a form of European avant-garde art originally founded in Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Goddard melds everything from traditional portraiture to Australian aboriginal art, and his work is held in the collections of the film director Sir Ridley Scott and the chef Marco Pierre White.
Galerie Pascal Janssens, Ghent, Belgium
Belgium’s contemporary-art scene will always need to wrestle with the ghosts of the Flemish master painters—especially in municipalities outside Antwerp. In the less celebrated Ghent, this dynamic gallery is very much of the new. At its booth in London, artists will include painter Pascal Dombis, whose art is frequently reflective of post-digital culture; Vera Röhm, who works with geometric sculpture; and Rafael Barrios, who creates installations, monuments, and performances. Additionally, the gallery carries everything from abstract sculpture to paintings on glass.
Kanalidarte, Brescia, Italy
Brescia is caught between the more famous cities of Verona and Milan, so it is a less-frequent stopping point for travelers to Italy. That’s a shame, since this young gallery is slowly building a slew of dynamic sculptors and painters specializing in kinetic art. Founded in 2009 by Afra Canali, Kanalidarte will be exhibiting artists from a roster that includes Toni Costa and Ennio Chiggio, both of whom experiment with op art–inspired work, which plays with the viewer’s perceptual experience.
Meno Parkas, Kaunas, Lithuania
Residing in Lithuania’s second city, Kaunas, this gallery is the local offshoot of the country’s official artist-representation group, the Lithuanian Artists’ Association. It has a broad remit, providing educational and academic resources, and this extends to international representation. Art15 will benefit this year from the work of Russian-born painter Jonas Gasiūnas, whose material draws on such diverse cultural influences as German filmmaker Werner Herzog and Lithuanian artist Patricija Gilytė, whose repertoire includes installation and video.
Alessandro Casciaro, Bolzano, Italy
Originally founded in 1964 under the name Goethe Gallery, this family-run space in an Alpine city close to the Austrian border has been under its current name for less than six months. Look out at Art15 for the stark photography of Giovanni Castell, painters Kinki Texas and Robert Pan, and Sissa Micheli, who works with installations, film, and photography.