“Promises”, a sector focusing on young galleries created less than six years ago, provides a forward-looking analysis of cutting-edge contemporary art. Participating galleries can present up to three emerging artists and Art Paris finances 45% of the exhibitor fees. International galleries are largely represented in this sector that is constantly renewing its exhibitors from one year to the next (67% in 2023). This year, “Promises” plays host to nine galleries.
Baert Gallery (Los Angeles) presents works on canvas and drawings by American/Norwegian artist Melinda Braathen (1985) and German artist Sophie Wahlquist (1983), both of whom are part of the current revival of figurative painting. The first is known for her dreamlike, vivid almost phosphorescent landscapes, whereas the second evokes memories of her childhood in colourful gestural paintings at the border of figuration and abstraction, images in which faces and bodies gradually become apparent.
Along the same lines, Enari Gallery (Amsterdam) showcases semi-abstract landscapes in a symbolist vein by German artist Raffael Bader (1987) alongside works by Danish artist Thomas Mau (1978), whose practice draws inspiration from literature. The latter’s stylised portraits feature figures that stand out against a brightly coloured background.
The idea of establishing a dialogue between different traditions, generations and cultures brings together two French artists, Marianne Aublet (1948) and Jimmy Ruf (1980) and Indian artist Shine Shivan (1981) at the booth of Felix Frachon (Brussels). Shivan’s large charcoal, red oxide and ink drawings on traditional Indian paper feature monstrous creatures from other dimensions, cosmonauts with clawed hands and animals and humans with crude, tortured features.
Anne-Laure Buffard Inc (Paris) showcases three artists, Korean twin sisters Park Chae Dalle and Park Chae Biole (1997) and French visual artist Elie Bouisson (1996). All three question the way we choose to live by highlighting the value of everyday gestures (knitting for Park Chae Dalle and Park Chae Biole and sewing for Elie Bouisson) as well as their relationship with natural elements (leaves transformed into colourful canvases for the former and an assemblage of organic materials, textiles and familiar objects for the latter).
Spaceless Gallery (Paris, Miami) pays tribute to artificial intelligence, organic forms and raw materials with a collaboration between three artists from the French scene, ceramicist Olga Sabko (1990); the aurèce vettier collective (1990), who combine poetry and artificial intelligence; and Quentin Derouet (1988), who is presenting new works on canvas painted solely using colours from a red rose hybrid that he created especially for the quality of its pigment.
This Is Not A White Cube (Lisbon, Luanda) showcases the work of two Portuguese artists Manuela Pimentel (1978) and Vanessa Barragão (1992), who both revisit traditional heritage and artisanal crafts. Pimentel collects posters in the street, which she then assembles before using stencils to apply acrylic paint in a manner that evokes traditional Portuguese azulejo façades, whereas Barragão creates textile sculptures from recycled fabrics thereby conveying an environmental message.
Galerie Hors-Cadre (Paris) establishes a dialogue between three artists, Lucile Boiron (1990), Clara Imbert (1994) and Mathieu Merlet Briand (1990), whose work explores the visible and invisible worlds and their borders by means of new forms of closeness and materiality. In her photographic installations, Lucile Boiron releases the skin from its traditional functions (containing, protecting, delimiting) and transforms it into a multiform material in movement. Reliques by Clara Imbert brings together objects used in sacred rituals that become vessels transporting us towards an invisible world. Mathieu Merlet Briand uses big data as his medium; recycling the cloud and its thousands of images, videos and digital data, he shapes these flows, creating a synthesis that allows them to take on a tangible form.
Galería Rebelde (Guatemala City) has invited three Guatemalan artists from different generations: Angélica Serech (1982), an indigenous artist from Comalapa who has reinvented age-old Mayan weaving techniques to create unique textile works; Clara de Tezanos (1986), whose sensory wood and glass objects capture light and transform our perception of space; and Diana de Solares (1952) who produces three-dimensional structures with colourful abstract motifs made from found and recycled materials.
Gaep (Bucharest) juxtaposes the visions of two artists from different generations, both of whom use collage as an “act of resistance”: Romanian artist Mircea Stănescu (1954), a key figure of the Romanian scene in the 1980s and Croatian artist Damir Očko (1977). For Mircea Stănescu, collage was the most appropriate medium to express “an instinctive discontent, the reflex of a bankrupt existentialism” when living under a totalitarian regime, whereas for Damir Očko, it is a means by which to question the language and representations of political power.