Five emerging artists to seek out at Paris+ par Art Basel

Ingrid Luquet-Gad

Their poetic takes on the world will be on display in the show’s Galeries Émergentes sector.

How do artists relay the changing texture of the world? Here are five projects selected from the 16 solo presentations featured in Paris+ par Art Basel’s Galeries Émergentes sector that address this key question.

Caline Aoun (b. 1983, Lebanon)
Presented by 
Marfa’, Beirut
Caline Aoun contemplates time and gives material dimension to its movement. Against the accelerated pace of the digital age, the artist makes timelines tangible: rematerialized, sedimented, and organic. In Matters of Time, the artist presents work around a central fountain spouting cyan printer ink. A series of monochrome superimposed prints on paper – each with a title stating the ink colors used and the exact duration of the printing process – are hung on the walls.These are accompanied by swathes of canvas which have been soaked in residual ink from the artist’s studio, or left outside and exposed to the elements. The artist’s works function as a manifesto for deceleration: something within everyone’s reach.

Detail of Caline Aoun’s upcoming booth at Paris+ par Art Basel. Courtesy of the artist and Marfa’, Beirut.

Marlon De Azambuja (born in 1978 in Brazil)
Presented by 
Instituto de visión, Bogota and New York
In his new series Posse, Marlon de Azambuja brings together two components that are seemingly in opposition: colorful 17th-century European porcelain parakeets perched on a model Brutalist building. For the artist, these elements illustrate the systems of exploitation inherited from the Enlightenment and from universalist, colonial, and patriarchal modernity. He perceives this insidious form of repression in Brazilian functionalist architecture and identifies its effects on those living within it – himself included. The bird at the base of the building makes some of these legacies visible as well, in particular the exoticism projected onto the country by its colonizers.

Marlon de Azambuja, Monumental, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and ​​Instituto de visión, Bogota and New York.

Thea Gvetadze (b. 1971, Latvia)
Presented by 
LC Queisser, Tbilisi
In Thea Gvetadze’s work, there is no dominant language, subject, or medium, but rather a register of techniques and materials – clay, mosaic, textile, painting on velvet – that express a vernacular sensibility. It’s the same sensibility that imbues fables with their enduring significance and gives popular forms of expression their affective truth. Surveying rural regions of Georgia, the artist examines historical iconography and contemporary vernaculars. The installation Divine Beauty, Hellish Bitterness for One’s Own, and Universal Orphanhood illustrates this approach. A composite mural, large-format painting, and textile piece are all facets of the “benevolent philosopher”: a theatrical hybrid character made of watermelon flesh and a human rib cage, and sporting a microphone like a technological prosthesis. This louche figure reflects the artist’s commitment to acknowledging those on the margins of discourse and visibility.

Thea Gvetadze, Kind Philosopher, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and LC Queisser, Tbilisi.

Nile Koetting (b. 1989, Japan)
Presented by 
Parliament, Paris
The post-internet generation of the 2010s – raised on Web 2.0 – has grown up. This cohort has developed a visual vocabulary exploring daily media and technology, like an ever-shifting digital orbit. But its belief in a connected future, one beyond physical borders and inequalities, has been shaken in recent years: The climate emergency, global pandemics, and geopolitical conflicts have brought back a fallible and fragile perception of humanity. Koetting adapts and adds nuance to this heritage through installations, often activated via performance. Rather than proning an escape into the Cloud, they emphasize life within a confused reality, where basic survival is not guaranteed (despite people being surrounded by myriad gadgets intended to reduce daily anxieties). He draws from his training in Japanese Butoh theater to map out choreographies that introduce a sense of imminent dystopia. Upcoming Events, his Paris+ par Art Basel booth, is a prime example: a theater stage, barely-there lighting, video sculptures, transformable seats, and 3D-printed ikebana arrangements showcase a programed unpredictability.

Nile Koetting, Compressed +, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Parliament, Paris.

Yong Xiang Li (b. 1991, China)
Presented by 
Antenna Space, Shanghai
In the Chinese artist’s most recent installation, each work is arranged in an octagon shape, the painted side facing outward. To identify the work’s motif in its entirety, one must circle the three-dimensional objects. Structured like furniture – a seat, a shelf, a screen – Li’s works can often be folded into different functional configurations. The artist appeals to our gaze’s potential to project and perceive sensuality, the staging introducing an alternative queer sensibility. While his seats evoke a stylized bamboo garden, the largest structures (which hide and highlight at the same time) create representative ambiguity. In one structure, the profile of a mischievous face is hidden in the lower corner; in another, a young man playing nonchalantly with a cat shifts his gaze to catch that of the viewer/voyeur. An infinite game of hide-and-seek, what is represented feels increasingly evasive the longer itis visible. There’s an awareness of the danger of objectification… all the while lending itself to the erotic potential of the game.

Yong Xiang Li, Hydraulic Masc 1, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Antenna Space, Shanghai and Deborah Schamoni, Munich.

Groupe Galeries Lafayette is the Official Partner of the Galeries Émergentes sector.

Find an overview of all participating artists and galleries here.

Ingrid Luquet-Gad is an art critic and PhD candidate based in Paris. She is the arts editor of Les Inrockuptibles, a contributing editor at Spike art magazine, and a journalist for Flash Art.

Translation by Sarah Moroz.