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Exploring Fresh Talent: 6 Emerging Artists Unveiled in Summer Group Exhibitions

Exploring Fresh Talent: 6 Emerging Artists Unveiled in Summer Group Exhibitions


s the summer sun casts its warm embrace, the art world gracefully enters its annual pause, a well-deserved respite from the whirlwind of fairs and exhibitions that typically saturate the calendar. However, this tranquil interlude doesn't leave gallery walls barren. The months of June, July, and August mark the season when galleries orchestrate group exhibitions, providing a stage for the burgeoning talents of rising artists to shine.

From the bustling art hubs of London and New York to the more remote corners of the art landscape, galleries seize this opportunity to present a diverse array of artistic voices. These exhibitions not only showcase the full spectrum of their artist rosters but also act as a platform for introducing new, under-the-radar talents. It’s a moment that ignites excitement for collectors and enthusiasts alike—a chance to uncover artists who are either on the cusp of their solo exhibitions or have just embarked on their artistic journey.

Within this context, we unveil a selection of artists who have left an indelible mark on us through their presence in this summer’s group exhibitions. As the world embraces the essence of summer, these emerging artists emerge as beacons of creative potential, capturing attention with their innovative perspectives and distinctive artistic voices.

Anna Tuori: A Summer Discovery at Galerie Anhava, Helsinki
Anna Tuori - Sleepwalking (if the Grass Is Grey Green or Brown or What), 2022 - Galerie Anhava
Anna Tuori - Sleepwalking (if the Grass Is Grey Green or Brown or What), 2022 - Galerie Anhava

Summer group exhibitions offer an enchanting opportunity to encounter artworks firsthand, pieces that might otherwise have slipped under the radar. A prime illustration of this occurred during my visit to Helsinki this summer to partake in the city’s biennial art event. My impromptu stop at Galerie Anhava revealed an immediate revelation: a painting by Finnish artist Anna Tuori titled “Ecce Homo” from 2019. In a delightful surprise, I found myself audibly gasping upon encountering it. Although modest in size, the painting’s bold and contrasting hues burst forth against a backdrop of darkness, giving life to a ghostly, sketched apparition of a reclined human form.

Within the series of pastel, acrylic, and oil works bearing the same title, Tuori adeptly transforms elusive gestural strokes into enigmatic human silhouettes that fluidly transform with every gaze. These pieces evoke echoes of Florence Peake’s oil bar works showcased by Richard Saltoun in London during the same season.

Notably, Tuori’s artistry has previously graced the Sydney Biennale and enjoys extensive exhibition history in her native Finland, as well as at her Parisian gallery, Susanne Tarasieve. Her captivating pieces have captured my attention, marking her as an artist whose journey I will keenly follow.

—Josie Thaddeus-Johns

Konstantina Krikzoni: Captivating the Essence of Beauty and Abstraction
Konstantina Krikzoni - Scylles, 2023 - Swivel Gallery
Konstantina Krikzoni - Scylles, 2023 - Swivel Gallery

A stroll through the Marais district in mid-June led me to an exhilarating discovery—a group exhibition hosted by Brooklyn’s Swivel Gallery, in collaboration with cadet capela, at the latter’s Parisian haven on Rue Chapon. In this harmonious confluence of two rising and influential galleries, a tapestry of promising painters came to life, each contributing their unique artistic voice. Amid this vivid array, Konstantina Krikzoni’s canvases captivated my gaze, leaving an indelible imprint.

Hailing from Greece and presently based in London, Krikzoni’s artistic trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable. A mere year after completing her MA in painting at London’s Royal College of Art, her works have gained widespread recognition. Her artistry graced diverse platforms this year, including a compelling two-artist exhibition at Frieze No. 9 Cork Street space in London alongside Newchild Gallery, as well as participation in Swivel Gallery’s group showcase at its Bushwick location. Notably, she heralded her solo debut at Newchild Gallery in Antwerp this past March.

Krikzoni’s approach to depicting the female form is both bold and arresting. Her paintings emerge as vibrant tapestries, adorned with hues spanning fuchsia, crimson, peach, and purple. Within these rich pigments, she conjures entrancing visions of women, gracefully enfolded within warm swathes and dynamic splashes of paint. Amid a landscape where figurative art often adheres to the expected, Krikzoni’s creations stand as luminous outliers, harnessing the expressive essence of abstraction. With an innate finesse, her work enters timeless dialogues concerning beauty, femininity, and sensuality.

—Casey Lesser

Mirjam Vreeswijk: Unveiling Eerie Beauty through Adorned Landscapes
Mirjam Vreeswijk - Far From Heaven, 2023 - Sow & Tailor
Mirjam Vreeswijk - Far From Heaven, 2023 - Sow & Tailor

The recent group exhibition “Adorned Self,” hosted by the emerging Los Angeles gallery Sow & Tailor, embarks on a celebration of the ornate, encapsulating diverse subjects under its opulent umbrella. The artworks within, ranging from Erin Wright’s sleek, millennial pink kitchens to Alli Conrad’s elegantly draped, close-cropped outfits, evoke a sense of opulence reminiscent of lavish product photography. Amid this tapestry of creativity, Sabrina Piersol’s vivid flora offer a whimsical twist on landscape art. Yet, what truly resonated with me was the captivating oeuvre of Dutch artist Mirjam Vreeswijk—a unique blend of both styles.

Vreeswijk’s paintings masterfully fuse ornamental objects with richly saturated and intensely atmospheric landscapes, creating a realm that seamlessly melds beauty with an underlying eeriness. A case in point is “Far From Heaven” (2023), wherein the silhouette of a candelabra emerges against an apocalyptic red sky. This composition echoes the flickering flames of the candles with the blaze that engulfs the backdrop, resulting in a haunting harmony. The coalescence of sensuality and the sinister beckons, as the natural world converges with the artificial in a space charged with psychic energy.

While Vreeswijk’s artistry has predominantly graced galleries in the Netherlands, where she is based, her presence this summer extends across both Los Angeles and New York. As September unfolds, anticipation builds for her upcoming solo exhibition at Galerie Fleur & Wouter in Amsterdam.

—Olivia Horn

Luke Chidiebube Agada: Unveiling Dreams through Surreal Canvases
Luke Chidiebube Agada - Last Call, 2023 - Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Luke Chidiebube Agada - Last Call, 2023 - Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery

The allure of encountering an emerging artist’s work for the first time is both captivating and exhilarating. My journey through the captivating selection of summer group exhibitions on Artsy led me to explore vibrant young galleries boasting dynamic artist rosters and innovative programming. Among these gems, “Where the Wild Roses Grow” emerged—a group show marking the third iteration of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery’s summer exhibition series at the splendid 18th-century Schloss Görne castle in Germany.

Amid the array of talents, it was Luke Chidiebube Agada’s dreamlike compositions that held me captive. This Nigerian artist’s oeuvre is a visual testament to Surrealism’s uncanny allure, evoking the essence of the movement. Agada’s canvases come alive with domestic vignettes and whimsical landscapes, each a tapestry that delves into the themes of globalization and migration. Drawing inspiration from luminaries like Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Agada weaves recurring motifs—fluid, ethereal forms and silhouettes—imbuing his works with a sense of forgotten narratives, inviting viewers to journey into realms of imagination.

Originating as a self-taught artist, Agada’s educational journey took him from a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta to an MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His artistic prowess was acknowledged with the prestigious Helen Frankenthaler Award.

—Adeola Gay

Nevena Prijic: Exploring the Depths in "Into, Over and Underneath"
Nevena Prijic - We Were - Now - Coming Together, 2023 - Public Gallery
Nevena Prijic - We Were - Now - Coming Together, 2023 - Public Gallery

Within the captivating tapestry of Public Gallery’s summer group exhibition, “Into, Over and Underneath,” the work of Nevena Prijic emerges as an enchanting revelation. The trio of paintings by this Serbian artist that I encountered left a profound impression.

Prijic’s artistic vision breathes life into intricately layered creations, where the rhythms of biology and technology converge in a mesmerizing dance. Her approach delves into the intricate intersections of the human body, machinery, plants, and insects, culminating in compositions that pulsate with vibrant energy.

In the expanse of the canvas titled “We Were / Now / Coming Together” (2023), Prijic masterfully intertwines suspended cocoons and anthropoid-like structures, united by vibrant webs and coils that evoke a sense of connectivity. The resonance carries over to two other works from the show: “New Sex” and “Collection of Tears” (both 2023). These pieces echo influences from the pioneering Hilma af Klint, as well as historical Neolithic architectural Vinča artifacts—an inspiration the artist herself acknowledges.

As part of the London gallery’s group exhibition—shared with fellow rising talents Jade Thacker and Zhang Wenyi—Prijic continues to build on a series of notable showcases. Her presence has graced exhibitions at The Hole and HESSE FLATOW last year, alongside a solo presentation at L.A. gallery M+B, which also represents her distinctive voice.

—Arun Kakar

Merrick Adams: Illuminating Nature's Play at "Fresh Nature"
Merrick Adams - Topanga Tide, 2023 - Kutlesa
Merrick Adams - Topanga Tide, 2023 - Kutlesa

Embarking on a journey through the mesmerizing array of artistic expressions in “Fresh Nature,” presented by Kutlesa Gallery in Goldau, Switzerland, I was captivated by the works of Los Angeles-based painter and printmaker, Merrick Adams.

Adams’s artistry weaves a narrative of light dancing upon water—an ode to nature that invites profound contemplation of memory, artistic process, and the world that surrounds us. Hailing from a lineage of fishermen and crabbers in Virginia, his personal history and oceanic connection infuse his creations with the essence of sunlight and moonlight reflecting upon the sea’s gentle surface.

Upon first glance, Adams’s technique seemingly integrates netting as a multimedia element meticulously layered atop his canvases. Yet, a closer inspection reveals a revelation—the “netting” is intricately stamped onto the surface, forming a textural and dynamic pattern. This ingenious approach draws from methods reminiscent of woodblock or silkscreen printing, blurring the lines between painting and printmaking, and forging a unique artistic intersection.

As I immersed myself in Kutlesa Gallery’s captivating exhibition, Adams’s works emerged as beacons of intrigue. His canvases are adorned with piercing azure hues, delicately overlaid by sorbet-hued pastels, and embellished with mesmerizing tangles of rippling lines—a visual symphony that beckons one to dive into its depths.

Adams’s creative journey encompassed a BFA from East Carolina University and culminated in an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020.

—Jordan Huelskamp