The 12 Young Painters You Need to Know at NADA New York

Molly Gottschalk
May 6, 2016 10:53PM

The fifth edition of NADA New York opened yesterday, and as ever, it was teeming with collectors and artists eager to set their sights on the fair’s 108 booths. The largest edition to date, this year sees exhibitors from 18 countries and 44 cities, including 51 first-time exhibitors. It also features an especially strong selection of painting, with works by a fresh generation of young painters—including these 12 you need to know.

Tschabalala Self

B. 1990 in Harlem, NY. Lives and works in New Haven, CT

On view at Thierry Goldberg

Installation view of works by Tschabalala Self at Thierry Goldberg’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.


That her four paintings (priced between $7,000–20,000) sold out within the first minutes of the fair speaks to the momentum Self has seen since her graduation from the Yale MFA program last spring—notably a 2015 group show at the Studio Museum in Harlem and a current show at the Hammer Museum. Self is known for her figurative collages that explore the black female body in contemporary culture, and at the fair, The Engagement (2016) tells the story of a couple through hand-stitched figures formed using fabric from her family home in Harlem. In the work, the female character is flanked by a ghostly figure. “I wanted to explain that the female protagonist, while she has a tangible attachment to the male, has another part of her identity that is not visibly seen,” Self told me.

Sarah Faux

B. 1986, Boston. Lives and works in Queens, NY

On view at Stems Gallery

Installation view of works by Sarah Faux at Stems Gallery’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Recent Yale grad Faux makes paintings in pairs that, teetering on the edges of abstraction and pornography, present two visions of a single gesture. In Blacklight and Prickly Things (both 2016; $6,000) a woman licks her own nipple; the former is a lurid, acidic night scene and the latter, a jovial, solitary moment in the day. “I’m thinking about how you might have contradictory feelings with one sensation,” said the Boston-born artist, happy lingering near her solo booth by Stems Gallery, who will present her solo show this June. “You might remember a physical experience one way for a period of time, but then you change your memory and rewrite your narrative.”

Jordan Kasey

B. 1985, Chicago. Lives and works in Brooklyn

On view at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery

Installation view of works by Jordan Kasey at Nicelle Beauchene’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Ahead of her first solo show at Brooklyn gallery Signal later this month, you’ll find two of Kasey’s voluptuous, Botero-like figures and dreamy, surrealist landscapes in Nicelle Beauchene’s booth: a fleshy, reclining figure, Person Lying on a Salty Beach (2015; $10,000), that hangs in the booth’s interior and fake plant at a restaurant (2015; $8,500), a mysterious tableaux where a bellybutton, a pierced ear, and the tips of fingers curiously peek between leaves, which calls fairgoers into her painted world. 

Ragna Bley

B. 1986 Uppsala, Sweden. Lives and works in Oslo and London

On view at Hester

Installation view of works by Ragna Bley at Hester’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

In sunbleached, painterly washes and amoebic, sea life forms, Bleys work recalls both the ceramics of Ron Nagle and the stain paintings of Helen Frankenthaler—but the young Swedish painter is making a name all her own. Coinciding with her first-ever solo show in the U.S. at Hester, the gallery presents three large canvases by Bley at NADA, ahead of her solo exhibition at Kunsthall Oslo in 2017.

Heidi Hahn

B. 1982 in Los Angeles. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

On view at Jack Hanley

Installation view of works by Heidi Hahn at Jack Hanley’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Forever touched by a photograph her mother once showed her—of the happiest time in her life, at a slumber party in the ’70s—Hahn paints the ups, the downs, and the disillusionment in the life cycle of a woman. Following her solo show at Jack Hanley in February, Hahn debuts four new paintings at NADA that take a newly methodical bent: Stippled with meticulous patterning, the series sees a woman happily confined to a flower patterned room, wearing flowered clothing, and reading books about, you guessed it, flowers. Calling to mind the pattern-sheathed women of Gustav Klimt, three of the four works (priced between $3,000–$3,500) had quickly sold within the first hours of the preview.

Sojourner Truth Parsons

b. 1984, Vancouver, Canada. Lives and works in Los Angeles

On view at Tomorrow

Installation view of works by Sojourner Truth Parsons at Tomorrow’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Named for African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, Parsons paints strong female characters, like the scintillating, silhouetted figure smoking in the darkness in her large-scale work Anthony at Night with the butterflies (2016). Ahead of her summer group show with Foxy Production and a fall solo show at Night, four paintings—evoking Tom Wesselmann cut-outs with their scrappy and material canvas glued onto canvas—were quickly sold on the range of $6,000–7,500.

Jana Schröder

B. 1983 in Brilon, Germany. Lives and works in Düsseldorf

On view at MIER Gallery 

Installation view of works by Jana Schröder at MIER GALLERY’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Schröder’s performative doodles and scribbles—signatures, initials, abbreviations—call on her own handwriting as a form of self-portraiture. In two of the three paintings at NADA (both priced at $8,000 and both sold on opening day) the artist’s swift gestures have been scrawled with indelible pencil. The blue lead will eventually fade into graphite, raising questions of originality versus reproduction.

Chloe Wise

B. 1990 in Montreal. Lives and works in New York

On view with Galerie Sébastien Bertrand 

Left: Chloe Wise, LIFE’S ROUGH, BUT NOT ROUGH ENOUGH, 2016; Right: Chloe Wise, A MAGNIFICENT FORGETTING, 2016. Images courtesy of Galerie Sébastien Bertrand.

Last year, Wise’s Prada-stamped bread bag, Ain’t No Challah Back(pack) (2014), was a highlight of NADA. This year, the Canadian artist continues to explore the semiotics of desire, consumerism, and luxury, this time throwing painting into the mix. In Life’s Rough, But Not Rough Enough (2016), a bare-chested woman clad in elbow-length gloves stands among a spread of fruit and flowers; a nearby sculpture, A Magnificent Forgetting (2016), sees a papaya with a piercing. “These fetish items connote bondage, and the still life, art-historically, is a display of abundance but also a reminder of memento mori,” said Wise. “These decadent, succulent things are all going to rot and die, and the image of the female body is an image of something that’s transient.”

Akira Ikezoe

B. 1979, Japan. Lives and works in New York

On view at Proyectos Ultravioleta

Installation view of works by Akira Ikezoe at Proyectos Ultravioleta’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

Japanese painter Ikezoe’s playful taxonomies of like objects—a microwave, a lightning bug, and a laptop, all emitting light; or an eyeball, a beach ball, and an apple, sharing a spherical shape—function as explorations of man’s relationship to nature. Six of these works fill the back wall of the New York-based artist’s solo booth with Guatemala City gallery Proyectos Ultravioleta—though at $4,000 apiece, the works were quickly snapped up in the first two hours of opening day.

Dale Lewis

B. 1980 in London. Lives and works in London

On view at Edel Assanti

Installation view of works by Dale Lewis at Edel Assanti’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo by Object Studies for Artsy.

In compositions pulling from masterworks of art history, 36-year-old British artist Lewis paints scenes from urban society and his own experience—a working-class cafe in London, a drug dealer’s home in Essex, a sex show in Bangkok—with raw, visceral brushstrokes. Recalling references from Pablo Picasso to Henry Moore, George Condo to Philip Guston, his works draw from the history of painting—and at £8,000 apiece, four had sold by the end of opening day.

Luc Paradis

B. 1979 in Vancouver. Lives and works in Montreal

On view at Parisian Laundry

Installation view of works by Luc Paradis at Parisian Laundry’s booth at NADA New York, 2016. Photo courtesy of Parisian Laundry.

Matisse cutouts, Yves Klein’s human paintbrushes, or Kim Kardashian’s silhouette? Self-taught, Montreal-based artist Paradis reinterprets various aspects of art history in a contemporary way; in Turn to you (2016; $2,600), for example, four shapes present the above conundrum. Also on view at NADA, Paradis shows checkered, painted wooden sculptures, Lucca (2016; $3,600) and Veronica (2016; $2,700), that call to mind the can-can dancers of Toulouse-Lautrec.

Jeffrey Tranchell

B. 1982 in Owosso, Michigan. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Essex Flowers

Left: Jeffrey Tranchell, o\° •\ ̄•, 2016; Right: Jeffrey Tranchell, .°/• o ̄-, 2016. Images courtesy of Essex Flowers.

New York-based artist Tranchell has a habit of strolling through hardware stores in search of materials for his work—evidenced by the two small paintings on view in Essex Flowers’s booth, each adorned with an array of doorknobs and leftover house paint. Priced at $2,200 apiece, the works recall the colors and forms of the Memphis Group and consider the idea of utility and labor as it relates to the job of an artist.

Molly Gottschalk