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Artists to Watch in 2017

Artists to Watch in 2017

With 2017 around the corner comes a barrage of gallery exhibitions, museum shows, and art fairs brimming with the latest artists. In preparation, ArtAndOnly’s curatorial team have uncovered the 10 most global artists to watch this coming year.

The artists listed below hail from Pakistan to Paris, Argentina to New York, London to Iran. Their diverse practices span conceptual art, video, sculpture, painting and sound.



American born sculptor Novatt is one of the most respected monumental sculptors of his generation, recognised for his series of works entitled Chaos. His work Chaos Nervión was positioned permanently directly outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and his work was recently part of Sotheby’s Beyond Limits exhibitions at Chatsworth House in the UK. Maneuvering between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work his box-like forms are riffs on the random event. Currently working on a site-specific work in the USA, which is scheduled to be unveiled in April 2017.



Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi, born in 1972, lives and works in Lahore. The artist was awarded the prestigious Sharjah Biennial 10 Premier Prize in 2011 for his installation Blessings Upon the Land of My Love and is considered one of Pakistan’s most important artists. Known for his beautifully crafted paintings which portray a delicate repetition of decorative motifs Qureshi is heavily influenced by the Mughal miniatures. Awarded Deutsche Bank’s ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2013, Qureshi is a rising star in the art world.


Imran Qureshi, by Ian Alteveer and Navina Naja Haidar

Imran Qureshi: Artist of the Year 2013, published by Deutsche Bank



British painter Hempton’s explicit male nudes were the Instagram hit of the Frieze Art Fair London 2016. For all the flesh depicted in her portraits, sensuality is only one part of the story. Though the representation of male genitalia carries cultural baggage, the sexual inflection of this particular presentation of the body is, in some sense, incidental. ‘What I am looking for when painting’, Hempton says, ‘is a situation more important than the painting itself.’



Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1976, painter Ali Banisadr was forced to relocate during the Iran-Iraq War. Now living and working in Brooklyn, New York, Banisadr takes first-hand experiences as a refugee to abstract his landscapes using concepts of displacement, memory, violence and chaos and scenes of Persian mythology. Awarded by the New York Foundation for the Arts, since his first solo exhibition he has shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, Saatchi Gallery in London and is a young painter of enormous talent and promise.



Living and working in Savannah, Georgia, USA, and Johannesburg, South Africa, Daniels’ work actively contributes to its arresting quality, surprising us with its crude confidence. Using Goya as a starting point, his large-scale paintings map abstraction directly onto figure and space, demanding a reinterpretation of how painting functions within the conditions of the twenty first century. A painter to watch.



LA born, Cheng describes his computer-generated animations as ‘simulations’ resembling ‘video games that play themselves.’ Cheng employs video-game software, but instead of building relatively fixed, narrative environments populated by characters, Cheng programs his work to keep creating new pictorial combinations, resulting in colliding combinations of discordant imagery. Collages updated for the digital age, Cheng’s work symbolizes the cognitive dissonance of change. Lives and works in New York.


Bernar VENET

French sculptor Bernar Venet creates extraordinary abstract pieces that make reference to the language of mathematical concepts and scientific theories, transposing them into the realm of art. An acclaimed sculptor, Venet has received some of the world’s most coveted awards and honours. Among these are a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, Washington D.C., and the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris. In 2005 he was awarded the title of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration. His new work shows a master sculptor only just approaching the peak of his powers.


Bernar Venet, by Thierry Lenain, Thomas Mcevilley and Bernar Venet



Artist or designer? Reinoso’s artistic oeuvre developed in parallel with his commercial practice. Now living and working in Paris, Argentinian sculptor Reinoso’s work is inspired by his multicultural upbringing. Described by Forbes.com as ‘innovative and playful’ he has become renowned for his dramatic reinterpretations of ubiquitous and common objects. Sometimes one doesn’t know where the design stops and the art begins, as he integrates ‘function’ into his artwork.


Pablo Reinoso, by François Rachline

This book is the first important monograph dedicated to the work of Pablo Reinoso



Steinkamp is an American video and installation artist exploring ideas about architectural space, motion, and perception. Her gorgeous floral installation Botanic 2016, thousands of slow motion flying and exploding blooms, was the Midnight Moment this year, lighting up all the screens in New York’s Times Square.



The best artist you have never heard of, Leckey has been called the ‘artist of the YouTube generation’ and inspires respect and admiration from his art world peers. Awarded the Turner Prize in 2008, Leckey’s multi-disciplinary practice encompasses sculpture, sound, film and performance. Creator of a hugely influential video work ‘FioruccI Made Me Hardcore’, Leckey showed at MoMA PS1 in New York in 2016.


Art Market Intelligence Report
Art Market Intelligence Report – Southeast Asia

Sherman ONG

Photographer, film maker and Malaysian born Sherman Ong has been based in Singapore for a number of years and considers it home. Ong was uprooted from his homeland of Malaysia as a teen, a move that has been pivotal to his art; exploring the theme of migration, diaspora and a sense of origin and belonging. His fluid approach to culture and identity is at the forefront of his imagery, 2016 proved exceptionally busy for Ong who became involved in not only cultural expositions but documentaries that exposed communities who straddled countries border, ethnicities and customs. Ong provided five vignettes for the National Geographic Channels’ series Potraits of the Peranakan, a locally produced and curated series that explores the ‘Peranakan’ cultural group in Malaysia. Himself a seventh generation Peranakan, Ong hopes that these short snippets of film capture the culture, language and tradition that the Peranakan are desperately trying to preserve. The series was debuted on in July 2016.

Currently the Art Science Museum in Singapore are showing one of Ong’s films, ‘Flooding in the Time of Drought’ as part of the ArtScience on Screen exhibition, ‘Water’. The show features an array of artists whose work looks to explore humanities relationship with water, the bare necessity of life. Ong’s film explores the correlation between the ebbs and flows of water and the fluid migrations of Singapore’s work force, who are mainly immigrants from poorer neighbouring countries. The two-part future length film centres around eight intertwining stories in ten languages.

In July 2017 Ong will showing his film installation ‘The Seas will sing and the Wind will carry us’ as part of the South East Asia Exhibition at the National Art Centre in Tokyo. The film is centered around Ong’s time in the Nusantara (The Malay Archipelago).


Debbie HAN

In the last few years Korean-American artist Debbie Han’s work, exploring the idolisation of the female figure and the role of female imagery in race, culture and identity has become more important than ever, and a busy 2016 confirmed that.

Han continued to exhibit internationally with a solo show showcasing her painting’s in Munich’s Braun Falco Gallery over the summer, her sculptures were featured in New York’s ArtsWestchester, in ‘SHE: Deconstructing Female Identity’. The concept of the show arose out of the harmful image portrayed by Barbie dolls to young girls, Han and eleven fellow female artists intended to support women in the struggle to redefine femininity in society. She also created a site specific installation piece for the Kenpoku Art Festival in Japan and participated in a sculpture biennial in South Korea.

After a busy 2016 Han is currently in the process of moving her studio permanently to Los Angeles, previously travelling between New York and L.A. Her two studios were geometrically opposed as was the work she carried out in them; in New York Han would primarily focus on painting, in L.A she would work on her sculptures. A native to California Han also admits she missed the continual sunshine and warmth of L.A.

Han is now taking time to revisit paintings and sculptures from 2014, working on them with a fresh eye. It is not uncommon for Han to revisit unfinished works, her projects tend to evolve and grow over a long period of time. However, 2017 brings with it new challenges, as Han embarks on creating entirely new forms, boldly exploring a vision that has been haunting her for some time. Han told us ‘This is an exciting time for me as a creator because it feels like going on a new journey where I don’t know where it will take me to and how long it will be… kind of like jumping off of a cliff and leaving behind a familiar world to discover a new world, with a faith in your heart as a guide to a new greater world.’



Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the Twenty-First Century, by Giorgina Adam

Collecting Contemporary Art, by Adam Lindemann