Trending Artists Under 40 at Art Basel in Hong Kong

As the storied Swiss art fair Art Basel lands in the Far East, we’ve pulled the numbers from our fair preview to let you know who to keep an eye on at Art Basel in Hong Kong. From Ryan McGinley, currently celebrating his first solo exhibition in China at Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong, to Xu Zhen, the artist who welcomed us to his Shanghai studio earlier this year, here’s our list of ten artists—not yet over the hill—who are most-followed at the fair.

10. Elizabeth Neel

At first, the gestural brushstrokes and conspicuously blank spaces of Elizabeth Neel’s paintings appear to be the result of layered or collaged abstraction. But upon closer look, the artist’s unique form of representation begins to reveal itself. Neel finds inspiration in a wide range of sources, including the work of her grandmother, bohemian portrait painter Alice Neel. Find her work at Pilar Corrias Gallery’s booth. 

9. Ryan Gander

Conceptual artist Ryan Gander’s eclectic output defies categorization, encompassing installations, sculptures, photos, texts, and reproductions that present wittily inconclusive narratives about art, culture, and the artist’s personal experiences. Find Encompassed by one Telling, a work using acrylic on mirrored glass, at Lisson Gallery’s booth.

8. David Adamo

David Adamo is known for minimalist installations of wooden utilitarian objects, whittled down to fragility and accompanied by piles of wood shavings. According to New York Times critic David Colman, “What elevates Adamo’s work above the mass of young conceptualists is not how cerebral it is, but how personal and emotional.” Look for one of Adamo’s wool carpets at Ibid.’s booth.

7. Tala Madani

Tala Madani is known for creating paintings that look incisively and often irreverently at Middle Eastern culture and gender issues. Her paintings are frequently gestural and expressionistic, perhaps ironically echoing the painterly bravado attributed to male abstract artists of the mid-20th century. Find her recent paintings, which incorporate the men but depict two characters from a children’s book series, at Pilar Corrias Gallery’s booth.

6. Xu Zhen

Earlier this year, Artsy and NOWNESS paid a visit to the Shanghai studio of artist Xu Zhen, the installation, performance, and video artist who was named this year’s Armory artist in the annual commission program by The Armory Show (see the video here.) Xu is known for combining humor and irony in his works, offering critique of political and art-world systems of human exploitation—one of which can be seen at Galerie Nathalie Obadia’s booth.

5. Kehinde Wiley

Recently celebrated as an honoree of the Brooklyn Museum’s Artist’s Ball, Kehinde Wiley is known for fusing traditional formats and motifs with modern modes of representation. Selecting works from old masters like Peter Paul Rubens or Jacques-Louis David, Wiley replaces the historical figures with handsome young black men, fusing traditional and modern modes of representation. “I try to use the black body in my work to counter the absence of that body in museum spaces throughout the world,” he has said. Look for Wiley at Rhona Hoffman Gallery’s booth.

4. Ryan McGinley

At the age of 23, photographer Ryan McGinley became one of the youngest artists to present a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Since 2005, he has been known for spending his summers taking models and assistants on road trips across the United States, capturing candid and carefree nudes in atmospheric, idyllic landscapes. Find images from McGinley’s annual trip in his first solo exhibition in China at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong, and one of his trademark fireworks photos at the gallery’s fair booth.

3. Gregor Hildebrandt

Conceptual, Berlin-based artist Gregor Hildebrandt transforms the near-obsolete relics of recording technology—like VHS, cassettes, and vinyl records—into sculptures, paintings, photographs and installations. To make his signature paintings, Hildebrandt applies tapes directly to the canvas, making impressions with them before finally adhering the cassettes themselves. At Art Basel in Hong Kong, spot his work made from video tape and acrylic paint at Wentrup Gallery.

2. Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham employs elements of architecture, performance, and sculpture to manipulate and distort understandings of structures and space, and is one half of the art-and-architecture collaboration Snarkitecture. He is included in the much-anticipated “G I R L” exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, curated by Pharrell Williams—but until then, find an eroded camera, one of his fossils-of-the-future, at Galerie Perrotin’s booth.

1. Sam Falls 

Named by curator Jeffrey Deitch among the top “30 Under 30” in Art & Design for Forbes in 2012, Sam Falls is known for combining photography, painting, and sculpture, and exploring the intersection of color, digital imagery, and natural processes. “My images are not only investigating the medium’s potential as an art form, but also continue exploring photography’s capacity for representation and challenging its veracity,” he explains. Find Falls at Balice Hertling’s booth.

Explore Art Basel in Hong Kong on Artsy.