When Art Basel first came to Miami in 2002, it was a satellite art fair and an end-of-the-year anchor to the Basel, Switzerland main event held in the summer. But in a perfect storm of palm trees, parties, a surge of interest in art, and an Instagram explosion, it's now become the biggest annual art event in North America, attended by over 85,000 people. As the celebration morphs into two dozen satellite fairs and a weeklong full calendar of art and fashion happenings, it's also a venue to show how art by a new generation of artists is being made alongside the modern and contemporary heavyweights we know and love.
Below is a sampling of works by talented artists we are keeping on our radar for the upcoming year.
Ramiro Gomez, An Afternoon in Madison Square Park, 2017, Mixed media on canvas
Ramiro Gomez's work at Art Basel Miami Beach was sold out before the fair even started. The LA-based artist, known for his re-imaginings of David Hockney's pool paintings and other luxurious settings, includes the often-invisible workers who maintain these pristine backdrops. The son of undocumented Mexican immigrants who have since become U.S. citizens, Gomez experienced first-hand the ways in which certain occupations are reduced to invisibility and, though essential, are written out of the
primary narrative of a family, building, or public space. Much of Gomez's work is concerned with the ephemeral, from capturing
fleeting moments in time that would otherwise be lost - someone watering a lawn, sweeping a floor, or lifting a package onto a truck
- to the very materials that he chooses as his canvas, most notably salvaged cardboard or discarded lumber.
Detail of An Afternoon in Madison Square Park, 2017, MIxed media on canvas
After having spent some time in New York this past Fall, Gomez created a series of New York-themed mixed-media paintings with the same idea, including cardboard cutouts of nannies, delivery men and construction workers who are often overlooked and forgotten, reflecting Ramiro's ongoing interest in depicting individuals' lives and recognizing workers, acknowledging to them that they are worth being recognized.
Ramiro Gomez, Three Men on a Roof Taking a Break (Chelsea), 2017, Mixed Media on canvas
In addition to impressing collectors and curators with his work this year at the fair, Gomez created portraits in the booth on slices of cardboard of the cleaners, wall painters, lighting technicians, and art handlers who made the fair possible, but whose work rarely ever gets credited. He then presented these workers with their portraits for them to keep. He called this project "Just For You". The meaningful series, which Gomez considers a performance unto itself, is a continuation of a two-day piece he displayed during the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Ramiro will be having his first New York solo show this Spring.
Juan Perez with his portrait at Art Basel Miami Beach, 2017
Keltie Ferris, Gray Matter, 2017, Oil and acrylic on canvas
Keltie Ferris became well-known for making abstract paintings from bright blurs of color that seemed both pixelated and powered by the force of their own vibrant electricity. However, she came to feel trapped by that style and sought a breakthrough. She then decided to wear a denim outfit, coat her body in linseed oil and do a sort-of pushup onto the canvas leaving her body silhouette as the abstract image. Now, Ferris has taken up a new direction. She begins with a base of black and smeared gray paint, evoking a Christopher Wool grafitti-like abstraction, and then forms a series of pastel-colored molds on top with thickly built-up acrylic.
Keltie Ferris, Sink/Swim, 2016, Oil and acrylic on canvas
Keltie Ferris was born in Kentucky in 1977 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions including Saatchi Gallery, London; Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Texas; The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. She will be having solo shows early next year and in 2019.
Derrick Adams' mixed media works were seen at multiple fairs. His pieces are made up of patterned fabric samples that Adams continuously collects, filled with vibrant colors and design elements from his familial and urban environment. In the studio he pulls together assorted imagery into mixed-media collage, sculpture, and performance that speaks to the diverse American urban and visual landscape.
Derrick Adams, Coming Through To You, 2016-17, Mixed media collage on paper
The collage works in his Tell Me Something Good series resonate with the aesthetics of popular culture and also retain deeper references to artists like Romare Bearden and William Johnson as well as art historical movements of Geometric Abstraction, Pop Art, and Performance. Simulating SMPTE color bars on vintage TV frames made out of cardboard, Adams uses life-sized mixed media installations to examine issues of self-image, urban culture, consumerism, cultural appropriation, and the portrayal of the African-American experience in the media. Sourcing material and inspiration from American TV shows, movies, and commercials of decades past, he gives popular and visual culture a cartoonish spin, criticizing the interplay between mass media and cultural identity and, more specifically, the objectification and misrepresentation of Blackness. Derrick Adams has upcoming solo exhibitions at the California African Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem.
Lucy Dodd, Twilights, 2017, Poppy extract, tulip extract, hermtite, black lichen, yew berries, squid ink, and pigment on canvas
Lucy Dodd sees painting as an organic entity, which extends to her choice of materials. Her works contain elements such as squid ink, hematite, charcoal, wild walnut, yerba mate, and other organic ingredients. Last year, her career got a boost when the Whitney Museum of American Art gave her a show. "Jupiter's Jollity", Dodd's 12-foot piece displayed at Art Basel MIami, sold the first day of the fair for $125,000 as a promise gift to a U.S. museum.
Lucy Dodd, Jupiter's Jollity, 2017, Installation view
Dodd has been compared to mid-century artists such as Cy Twombly, Sigmar Polke, and Robert Ryman. She has been featured in a solo exhibition at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami and at The Power Station in Dallas, TX.
Farah Atassi, The Party, 2017, Oil and enamel on canvas
French-Syrian painter Farah Atassi describes her work as "space and object" painting. The rectangles are literally anchored on the walls while the accumulation of lines and forms sprawl out into the particular space in which they are displayed. While her work is rooted in figuration, Atassi uses the geometry of mid-century abstraction to create complicated worlds of layered psychedelic patterning for figures and forms to coexist. She builds these figures out of the structured shapes and straight lines similar to how she treats the objects that surround them.
Farah Atassi, Still Life with Metronome, 2016, Oil and enamel on canvas
Atassi lives and works in Paris where she completed her studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in 2005. Select institutional exhibitions include Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg, France; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Biennale de Curitiba, Brazil; and Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. Her work has been featured in Artforum, Frieze Magazine, and ArtPress, among other publications, and her first bilingual monograph was published by Les Presses du Réel in 2015.
NATHANIEL MARY QUINN
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Buck Nasty: Player Haters Ball, 2017, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, acrylic gold powder on Coventry Vellum Paper
Pegged as a rising star to watch in 2018, Quinn's work has a wait list a mile long. His assembled faces are a kaleidoscope of grotesque facial features one might see in a funhouse mirror. These visions just come regularly to him as a way to work out his difficult childhood. The artist grew up in the 1970s as the youngest of five boys in the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, one of the most infamous housing projects in the country. His brothers were high-school dropouts, but Quinn, a bright student with a knack for drawing, won a scholarship to attend a boarding school in Indiana. While he was away at school, his mother died; a month after the funeral Quinn, then only 15, returned home only to find that his father and brothers had abandoned him. Orphaned, he survived by strenuously applying himself at school so that he could keep his scholarship. He never heard from his family again until 2016 when a brother reached out to explain how the family had dispersed. Quinn hasn't spoken to him since.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Big Mama, 2017, Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel on Coventry Vellum Paper
Though his portraits appear to be collaged, they are actually hand drawn by Quinn and based on the mood board of photographs he's gathered online or from magazines. But each time he paints a new feature, he covers the rest of the work so that he concentrates on that part of the picture. Only when he removes all of the covered bits does he see how the components have come together. Quinn will be having a solo show in New York next Fall and will be making his Paris debut as well in a solo exhibition in 2019.
Sarah Crowner, Sliced Peacock Stems, 2017, Acrylic on canvas sewn
Sarah Crowner is a painter whose distinct approach emerged from her impatience with the medium. In her search for a mode of image-making that accommodates immediacy and spontaneity, Crowner creates graphic compositions that discretely test the boundaries of abstract painting while also engaging and reshaping its art historical legacy. She is known for canvases in which each color and form is comprised of a different piece of cloth, attached via stitches. From afar, the bold geometric forms, clean lines, and elegant arabesques inhabiting her canvases conjure pristine geometric compositions and solid fields of color, a revisit to the traditions of the hard-edge abstraction in the 1950s and '60s. On closer viewing, the presence of the stitches and seams reveals a craft-oriented methodology in which raw and painted segments of canvas are cut, rearranged, and sewn together using the process-based logic of collage.
Sarah Crowner, Untitled, 2017, Acrylic on canvas sewn
Recent projects include the permanent installation at the Wright Restaurant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and a solo exhibition at MASS MoCA. In 2013 she participated in a major survey exhibition on abstract painting at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In addition she was part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari.
Hew Locke, Wine Dark Sea (W), 2016, Mixed media
British-Guyanese artist Hew Locke installed a flotilla of individual boats at the fair, all of them crafted by hand from wood, metal, and fabric. Suspended from the ceiling, they created an immersive, fantastic environment, an armada in space. Each vessel is based on a prototype, from an ordinary sailing ship to a typical military skiff to a Cuban refugee boat, a Coast Guard vessel, a cruise ship, and an Amazonian cargo transport. The ship is a charged symbol for Locke, signifying maritime culture, migration, displacement, exchange, slavery, colonialism, military conflict, trade, and social, economic, and artistic exchange. Individually and as a group, the works are rife with references to history as well as art history.
Hew Locke, WIne Dark Sea (P), 2016, MIxed media
A customized installation is in the permanent collection at the Perez Art Museum Miami and is on view through August 2018. His work is also included at The Tate Gallery; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum; The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; The RISD Museum, Rhode Island; The Victoria & Albert Museum; The Imperial War Museum; The British Museum and The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.
Clare Rojas, Untitled, 2017, Oil on linen
Clare Rojas' new paintings feature abstract forms at play in space. Her color palette of strong slightly-off-primary hues with black are arresting against a soft pale ground. Rojas has moved closer toward precision and reduction, and her refined shapes
appear linked, practically animated with their own properties of character and personality. The artist's interest in history and story-telling invites the viewer to read the compositions as a
narrative stripped down to its symbols, in an abstracted pictorial shorthand. Taking a different path toward the destination of formal abstraction, Rojas' practice engages the optic energies of
color that meet, frame other shapes, group together and pull away into a painted lyrical space.
Clare Rojas, Untitled, 2017, Oil on linen
Clare Rojas studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Chicago Art Institute before moving to the Bay Area where she lives with her husband artist Barry McGee. She has exhibited internationally, including solo shows at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, the Museo De Arte Contemporaneo de Castillo y Leon in Spain and the Museum Het Doemien in the Netherlands. An accomplished musician and performer, she has also published several books and music CD's.