At Art Basel, in Basel, Switzerland, galleries flaunt their most coveted and expensive works—hoping to make significant sales before the quieter summer months kick in. The 2018 edition, which takes place at Messe Basel from June 14 to 17, is no exception. It features 290 international galleries from 35 countries presenting Modern and contemporary works by roughly 4,000 artists. The work of up-and-coming artists can be somewhat more difficult to find, which is why we’ve done the hunting. Here, discover eight notable artists to collect at this year’s fair.
1. Stuart Middleton
Exploring ideas related to the body and masculinity, British artist Stuart Middleton makes psychologically engaging works in a variety of media. Whether sculptures of bar tables supported by human forms, animated films, or drawings touching on themes of depression and addiction, Middleton is interested in exploring the dark underbelly of life. For Carlos/Ishikawa’s booth in Statements, a section that presents emerging, young artists, Middleton has constructed a haunting installation consisting of a stop-frame animation depicting nightmarish scenes of terror and repulsion played out in the bacteria-induced dreams of miniature people sleeping nearby. Next up for the artist is an exhibition at the KM Künstlerhaus Halle für Kunst & Medien, in Graz.
2. Rodrigo Hernández
Mexican artist Rodrigo Hernández makes figurative and abstract paintings, as well as sculptures that reference both MesoAmerican culture and European modernism. Employing classical mediums and art-making techniques, Hernández creates metaphysical forms that beautifully meld aspects of pre-Colombian art with Italian Futurism. In Statements, Lisbon gallery Madragoa presents The Shadow of a Tank, a monumental frieze that takes over the entirety of the booth. Composed of movable, hand-hammered brass panels on a wooden base, the striking piece portrays fictional scenes from Hernández’s ongoing narrative, which he calls The History of Ambiguous Images. His work is also subject of a solo show at SALTS gallery in Basel from June 14.
3. Andreas Schmitten
König Galerie, Berlin
Fascinated by commodity culture, German artist Andreas Schmitten constructs sculptural tableaux that allude to the fetishized world of shopping. With a Neo Pop Art aesthetic that riffs on Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades, sumptuous store window displays, and theatrical movie sets, Schmitten’s sleek, minimalist objects are imbued with opulence. Schmitten exhibits four new sculptures amongst a selection of other artists in König Galerie’s booth in the main Galleries section. Gestrandete (Stranded) and Am Ende der Adoleszenz (At the End of Adolescence) depict milky, lacquered objects on carnivalesque pedestals, while two wall-mounted cabinet works, Lust and 62, are ambiguously seductive.
4. Georgia Gardner Gray
Croy Nielsen, Vienna
An American artist living in Berlin, Georgia Gardner Gray creates theatrical paintings, sculptures and installations centered around the decadent lifestyles of the young and the super-rich. In a 2017 solo show at the Kunstnernes Hus in Olso, for example, she devised an exhibition centered on the high-speed Concorde jet and staged a play about the high-flying people on board. In the same year, she presented a one-person exhibition of paintings and sculptures portraying punks and groupies acting out rebellious lives at the Kunstverein Hamburg. In the Statements section, Croy Nielsen presents a selection of the artist’s expressive paintings and sculptures within an animated setting that’s sure to amuse.
5. Sara Deraedt
Essex Street, New York
Belgian photographer Sara Deraedt spends her nights perusing store windows in city streets in search of vacuum cleaners, which she documents over and over in order to find the perfect shape or her quasi-surreal photographs. Resembling something between African masks and Star Wars stormtroopers helmets, Deraedt’s technique is equally fluid. Her small-scale photographs at Essex Street’s booth in Statements are all unique prints that she realizes in a variety of reproduction processes, from Xeroxes and inkjet images to Lamda and Afga d-lab prints. Adding yet another layer of complexity and secrecy to her practice, Deraedt rarely releases the artworks until years after they were made.
6. Takuro Kuwata
Salon 94, New York
Applying a contemporary sensibility to the age-old craft of pottery, Japanese artist Takuro Kuwata makes sublime clay objects that break the rules of the medium. Through the use of exceptionally thick glazes, which explode when fired, and other such experimental techniques—adding needles to direct the melting glaze and stones that puncture the surface of the clay under intense heat—Kuwata adds a radical twist to the traditional Wabi-Sabi aesthetics. Visitors will find a selection of the artists experimental tea bowls in the Salon 94 group in the Galleries section.
7. Christine Sun Kim
White Space Beijing, Beijing
A Korean-American artist who lives and works in Berlin, Christine Sun Kim uses sound as her medium. Born deaf, Sun Kim began her artistic career as a painter, but somewhat ironically switched to sound a decade ago. Named a TED Fellow twice, Kim makes conceptual artworks and creates performances that interpret sounds and social activities. In Statements, White Space Beijing offers a series of the artist’s intriguing sound score drawings of such quirky rules as the suggested amount of singing to babies or how much spoken language should be allowed in the presence of a deaf person. Her project, titled “Sound Diet,” also includes a listening station with a written score.
8. Jacolby Satterwhite
Morán Morán, Los Angeles
Inspired by music videos, American artist Jacolby Satterwhite reportedly started working with technology at the young age of 11, when he got his first personal computer. By 13 he was building websites, but it was his interest in painting, which he studied in college and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, that provided the extra creative touch to his 3D animated films. His futuristic, space-age music videos depict imaginary realms, where sexual fantasies are fueled by choreographed characters performing mixed martial arts and Vogueing dance moves. In Statements, the artist transforms Morán Morán’s booth into a virtual installation, complete with wallpaper made specifically for the fair.
Art Basel is on view at Messeplatz 10, Basel, Switzerland, from June 14 through 17, 2018.