Next week, collectors, curators, and artists from around the world will convene for the 15th edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach. Of the 269 dealers from 29 countries selected to participate this year, 21 are first-time exhibitors. They hail from both established and up-and-coming art world capitals—Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Brussels among them—and anticipate new international exposure for their artists, many of whom are young and emerging, or historically overlooked. Below, we highlight the 15 most exciting new additions. With the exception of two galleries established in the 1980s, all were founded within the last decade—from the socially engaged West Coast gallery Various Small Fires to the cross-disciplinary Shanghai arts space Leo Xu Projects.
Located in London’s Mayfair district, Vigo represents a diverse roster of both emerging and established names, including New York-based rising star Derrick Adams and British-Trinidadian artist Zak Ové. In addition to its contemporary focus, the gallery shines light on historically overlooked and financially undervalued artists—for whom they’ve placed more than 20 works into the collections of prominent museums, including the Met and the Tate Modern, in the past two years alone. “Ever since I met Toby years ago, he has had a program of wonderful young international artists and historical discoveries,” said collector and philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody of Vigo director Toby Clarke. “I am always blown away by his level of taste and discerning eye.”
In its first foray at the fair, Vigo will show historic works on paper by Ibrahim El-Salahi, the Sudanese “godfather of African Modernism” who in 2013 became the first African artist to have a retrospective at the Tate Modern. In 1975, the artist, then serving as Sudan’s undersecretary for culture, was held as a political prisoner without trial for over six months. The booth will focus specifically on the years immediately following the artist’s release from prison in 1976. “This period, and specifically 1977, was perhaps his most creative time, when he was full of joy at regaining his freedom after being wrongly accused,” noted Clarke. “It was also an end of an era and the start of a new period as it marked the last time he would live in Sudan.” In Miami, the gallery hopes to expose these works—which hail from the artist’s private collection and have never been exhibited before—to collectors and curators from around the world.