Words: Chris Erik Thomas.
In an era where trends and artists rise and fall in the blink of an eye, keeping on top of the next wave of talent can feel like dabbling in clairvoyance. Old rules that once seemed to govern the art world — like an artist’s price level rising over time as their careers became established — have been thrown out the window. Instead, working in the contemporary (and ultra-contemporary) art scene can feel like building a plane as you’re flying through the air. There’s a high risk to entering this market, especially for young galleries who have opened their doors and come of age in the past decade.
For Art Düsseldorf 2023, alongside our SOLO PROJECTS section, we are also introducing a new section called NEXT to highlight these new galleries that have been in business for less than ten years and are committed to showing current works by emerging artists.
In an industry known for the massive financial and systemic hurdles to establishing a new gallery, we want to support fresh positions by uplifting gallerists and artists that are challenging the status quo.
Ahead of the fifth edition of Art Düsseldorf, we invite you to get to know the galleries that will take part in the NEXT section. Scroll through for a sneak preview of what to expect at the fair, and we’ll see you very soon at Areal Böhler from March 31 through April 2.
This Berlin-based gallery has been a destination for fresh positions in contemporary art since 2017. For Art Düsseldorf, the young gallery will show a duo exhibition from artists Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann and Josefine Reisch. Both artists have built up their respective oeuvres through explorations of the past and reflections on cultural heritage.
In the booth, the two artists will make use of everything from computer towers and Renaissance-inspired paintings to a particular shade of carpeting to create a unique experience for fairgoers. Through a melding of technology and camp, the pieces on view will offer a critique of masculinity, vanity, and other prescient topics through a distinctly modern lens.
Founded in 2016, Russi Klenner’s namesake gallery has become one of the most exciting art spaces in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood. Thanks to its mix of emerging and influential young artists (most of whom are based in Berlin), the gallery has helped usher in a new wave of artists in the German capital.
At this year’s fair, the gallery will dedicate its booth to a solo presentation of works by Ravensburg-born and Berlin-based artist Oska Gutheil. For over a decade, they have brought their experience as a queer, transgender artist to the canvas through their distinctive, figurative paintings. The booth will be a key destination for all art lovers on the lookout for a fresh contemporary vision as the mix of loud colors and fantastic, twisted characters ensure that their pieces are not soon forgotten.
This Berlin-based gallery was founded by Johanna Neuschäffer and Anne Schwanz in April 2018 with the goal of expanding the idea of what an art gallery can be. Through a mix of artist talks, tours, and joint projects, the duo has created a gallery program not solely defined by artistic positions.
As part of its dedication to experimentation, OFFICE IMPART will present pieces by a trio of artists — Pola Sieverding, Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, and Jagoda Bednarsky — whose practice focuses on the physical body and its relationship to the world. Through a mix of mediums such as found imagery and poetry, the artists will interrogate everything from gender and femininity to the cultural influence of the film “Titanic.”
Since opening its doors in October 2018, the gallery has set itself apart in Düsseldorf’s crowded art scene through its focus on antique ceramics and international contemporary and pre-modern Asian art. The vision of co-founders Dunja Evers and Thomas Mass has led to an exciting program that brings a cross-cultural dialogue to each exhibition.
For Art Düsseldorf’s fifth edition, the gallery will present the works of two emerging artists from their program: Julie Oppermann and Joel Stevenett. By combining Oppermann’s abstract paintings with Stevenett’s street photography, the booth will offer an intriguing mix of media and sharply contrasting, yet coexistent, perspectives.
Although this London-based gallery only opened in October 2020, it has had an outsize influence on the city’s busy art scene. The gallery boasts over 1,250 square feet of exhibition space and also operates a project space situated on the lower level of the gallery called Projektraum London.
In line with its focus on new voices in the realm of international contemporary painting, the gallery will present a solo exhibition of works by Magnus Frederik Clausen from his conceptual “clock paintings” series. The Copenhagen-based artist has already established himself as a rising talent, and Art Düsseldorf will mark the first time his works are shown in a solo exhibition in Germany.
This Vienna-based gallery has been carving out a space for itself in the city’s art community since 2019. With a sharply curated selection of artists, the gallery has become a destination for fresh positions in the contemporary art scene.
As the gallery makes its return to Art Düsseldorf this year, its booth will feature works by the artists Luca Ilic and Richard Nikl, as well as Dan Vogt, who was the subject of a solo show at last year’s fair. The works on view will be united by the theme of sentimentality — including a number of Ilic’s signature paintings of Harry Potter characters — but will diverge to present distinctly different perspectives.
After opening in April 2018, this Berlin-Charlottenburg gallery has focused largely on artists born between 1984 and the early 1990s. By uplifting a generation who have grown up entwined in the internet and digital age, the resulting art has a cutting, modern edge.
At Art Düsseldorf, its booth will showcase a site-specific installation with sculptures and wall works by Munich-born artist Stefan Knauf. After recently transforming the Berlin gallery into an abstract landscape in the “Birds don’t cry” exhibition, the artist will adapt his steel sculptures and massive mounds of perlite for the fair.
From the moment it opened its doors in 2019, this gallery has put a spotlight on emerging artists. With a mix of positions — from painting and sculpture to video and conceptual art — it has presented a steady program of works that push contemporary art forward.
In a continuation of its mission to showcase new artists, the gallery will stage a double presentation of two artists: Rebekka Benzenberg and Monika Grabuschnigg. By contrasting the two artists’ work, a common focus on pop culture, philosophy, iconography, and psychology is revealed.
Situated far outside of the European bubble, this Kolkata-based gallery has become a key player in India’s contemporary art scene. Since 2017, founders R. S. Agarwal and R.S. Goenka and CEO Richa Agawrwal have uplifted a steady mix of emerging, mid-career, and established artists while taking on a future-forward, complex, and multi-dimensional approach to the gallery program.
As it makes the journey to Düsseldorf for this year’s fair, the gallery will present works by Arpita Akhanda, Debashish Paul, and Ujjal Dey. With each artist utilizing a diversity of media, the works on display will provide an engaging program for fairgoers.
For seven years, the gallery based in Düsseldorf has shown both regional and international positions from within the contemporary art world. At this year’s fair, the gallery will present a selection of works by Dorota Gawęda and Eglė Kulbokaitė, as well as Kinke Kooi.
As a duo, Gawęda and Kulbokaitė will present a photographic series that falls within the scope of their performative project “Mouthless,” which tackles ecological anxiety. Meanwhile, Kooi’s pieces make use of acrylic, gouache, and colored pencil to create otherworldly scenes inspired by botany and anatomy.
Since opening in Lisbon in 2014, the gallery, founded by Alexander Caspari, has dedicated itself to academically rigorous and immersive exhibitions from a core group of emerging and established international contemporary artists. Last year, it launched a sprawling new space in a large 19th Century apartment that encompasses seven exhibition rooms, two viewing rooms, and a sculpture garden.
The gallery’s booth at Art Düsseldorf will comprise a selection of new “Imagined Landscape” works by Nicolas Feldmeyer. First presented in a solo show at its gallery space, the digitally constructed 3D models meld painting and architectural rendering techniques to create new worlds.
This gallery, based out of Zurich, Switzerland, has been cultivating a strong program of exhibitions since 2019. Under the leadership of Marie and Caspar Livie, the gallery has rooted itself in Swiss contemporary art while also holding space for historical and international art.
For its debut at Art Düsseldorf, the gallery will present new works by the New York-based artists Austin Eddy, Anya Kielar, and Johannes VanDerBeek, as well as a new sculpture by Michael Sailstorfer. With such a diverse range of materials used by the artists — from fabric and foam to oil and concrete — the booth promises to be a destination for discovering exciting new positions.
Chris Erik Thomas is the Digital Editor of Art Düsseldorf. They work as a freelance writer and editor in Berlin and focus primarily on culture, art, and media. Their work can also be seen in Highsnobiety, The Face Magazine, and other publications.