Next Thursday, arteBA will ring in its 25th anniversary with booths from 85 galleries, nearly half of which hail from the Buenos Aires-based fair’s home country. While established galleries and artists abound across the Main and Cabinet sections of this year’s edition, our eye was caught by a group of exciting emerging South American galleries—many of which you probably haven’t yet seen on the international mega-fair circuit.
Since Instituto de Visión was founded by Beatriz López in 2014, the Bogotá-based gallery—which doubles as a research platform—has debuted ambitious projects by cutting-edge emerging artists (Pia Camil, Sebastián Fierro) and revisited the under-recognized practices of older Colombian creatives (María Evelia Marmolejo, Miguel-Ángel Cárdenas). Riding the momentum of its Frieze Stand Prize win last week in New York, the gallery brings a group of generation-spanning artists to arteBA whose work questions the idea of the tropics as an oasis or site of escape.
Last year, Argentine artist Sol Pochat, a recent graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, opened a small gallery in Buenos Aires’s picturesque Palermo district, an area full of cafes and populated by the under-40 set. Pochat now represents six young artists—who hail from Argentina to Venezuela to the U.S.—two of whom she’ll be showing at the fair. There, Camila Lamarca’s organic, color-driven sculptures and installations will be juxtaposed with Dayana Santiago’s gleaming, minimalist forms and architectural interventions.
Each of this Buenos Aires gallery’s four wallpaper- and molding-spangled rooms are given over to a different emerging artist every season. The resulting installations transform the former apartment, nestled in a grand building designed by Renaissance Revival-architect Mario Palanti in the early 1900s, into a creative hive and hangout for the city’s artistic community. At arteBA, the gallery will present new work by three young Argentine artists: Teresa Giarcovich, who makes spectral forms from translucent textiles; Santiago Gasquet, whose graphite drawings of flora are so precise they resemble computer-generated renderings; and Juan Matías Alvarez, whose hard-edged, minimalist paintings often jut precariously from the wall or come propped on paint-covered ladders.
Juliana Blau runs her eponymous gallery as a launching pad for young, primarily Brazilian artists. After opening her space in 2013, she’s organized a number of standout solo shows, along with group exhibitions conceived by emerging curators as part of C.LAB, an arm of her program that operates like a curatorial residency. At arteBA, she shows recent work from three artists in her stable, each who respond to the architecture, traditions, and trends of their native Brazil. Ceramic water guns and sneakers by Laerte Ramos join the architectural sculptures of Andrey Zignnatto and intimate coming-of-age portraits by Éder Oliveira, showcasing not only the diversity of Blau’s program, but also its deep ties to Brazilian culture.
Following its bid to situate young Argentine artists within an international context, Sputnik has brought 30 artists from 10 countries to its Buenos Aires gallery since its founding in 2013. Tucked in a light-filled former domestic space, complete with wooden moldings and balcony, the gallery has hosted projects by artists from both Argentina and around the world including Francisco Estarellas, Geraldine Barón, and Jasper Groen. At the fair, Sputnik will bring together the work of two compelling sculptors. While Sofía Durrieu explores the hidden perils of everyday objects (pillows, bows) by adorning them with nails or rendering them in cement, Pablo Insurralde honors the lives of second-hand and discarded objects by meticulously modeling them in miniature.
Helmed by twentysomething artist and gallerist Rodrigo Barcos, BÚM opened in 2015 as an artist collective-cum-gallery, situated a nudge southeast of Buenos Aires in La Plata. Their arteBA booth corrals three of the five young artists in the group, Barcos among them. Lucía Delfino’s excellent painting of erased foliage joins La 7’s gorgeous, sagging photo of ocean spray by night, printed on fabric. Barcos also presents his own conceptual sculpture, two facing mirrors coated with the phrases “Gestor de mi propia ilusión” (which translates to “Manager of my own illusion”) and “Curador de mi propia miseria” (or “Curator of my own misery”), respectively.
OTERO’s Buenos Aires space has become the stomping grounds for a diverse cohort of the city’s artists, designers, and curators. For its second year at arteBA, the gallery unveils a solo booth of painter-to-watch Anabella Papa’s bright, bold canvases, which show female features, vessels, chains, and hats in various states of dissolution. Sometimes, they fold into each other as uncanny, humorous hybrids as in sombrerito manteca (2015), whose title translates to “little butter hat.”