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September 27, 2022

Artists on our Radar

Article by Annikka Olsen

4 min. read

Close up of a woman's bosom peeking out of the top of her shirt
Shantel Miller, Home Invasion, 2017.


Though in many ways the art world continued to falter in 2021, this year has seen an increase in momentum not seen since before the pandemic. Museum, gallery, and art fair attendance has risen drastically, auction sales have been robust, and a new generation of artists are finding their footing. Within this art world revival, there has also been a proliferation of opportunities for exposure, funding, and career support by way of grants, awards, and residencies than ever before for female artists (though it is worth noting this increase still falls short of the attention male artists have historically received). Additionally, a plethora of styles and mediums seem to have taken equal stake in center stage, obliterating common past notions of monolithic trends. With this proliferation of opportunities and popular styles, it can feel a little daunting trying to figure out where to look or who to follow. Whether you are looking to add to your collection or looking for inspiration—or just something new—gathered here are a group of female artists from diverse backgrounds and with disparate artistic practices that we’ll be following closely—and can’t wait to see what they do next.

Katayoun Vaziri, Memories of a Bourgeoisie, The Third of May 2020 (Tribute to Goya), 2021. Private Collection, Canada.


Boston-based artist Shantel Miller interrogates the quotidian through conscientiously cropped vignettes and scenes, lending a sense of the sublime in the otherwise mundane. Miller’s bright figurative paintings focuses on everything from a close-up of shirt button to hands gathered around a plate of bread to the back of a child’s head, and all the work within her oeuvre comes together to create a singular visual language that speaks to broader ideas of race, gender, and other social constructs as well as offer insight into the artist’s own rich internal world. Having exhibited in a slew of group and solo exhibitions over the past two years, Miller is continuously garnering more attention.

Hailing from Tehran and working between Mexico City and New York, Katayoun Vaziri examines the role of capitalism and socio-economic realities by examining the figures and people who consciously or not exist within their influence. Vaziri’s figurative depictions of everyday life offer visual contextual clues to a broader social and cultural milieu—such as the corner of a Barbara Kruger print being carried away, or the quintessentially American red solo cup placed between men drinking. Though in the years leading up to the pandemic Vaziri took a step away from the art world (though continued to partake in the long-standing tradition of “Sunday painting”), Vaziri’s career has recently been picking up speed, having already partaken in several solo and group shows – including a recently opened duo exhibition at LA Foyer – as well as being selected for the New American Painting Competition of the North East all just this year so far.

Most well known for her diaphanous use of color and atmospheric compositions, Andrea Marie Breiling’s work operates within the tradition of the historic American Color Field movement. Taking inspiration from artists such as Morris Louis and Stanley Whitney, as well as recalling the work of Helen Frankenthaler, Breiling’s work is largely created through spray paint to create layered veils of color, creating ethereal, kaleidoscopic surfaces that draw the eye in. Having been the subject of three solo shows in 2021 alone both in the United States and Europe, as well as a debut show in Beijing this year, its nearly a sure thing Breiling will become an even bigger name in the next few years.

Andrea Marie Breiling, Anna #1, 2022. Photographed by Nik Massey. Courtesy the artist and Night Gallery, Los Angeles.

The oeuvre of M. Florine Démosthène is perhaps most recognizable for its recurrent use of the female body, one that is curvy and bald. With minimal intervention of other visual elements, the figure operates within an otherworldly realm where gravity is seemingly a mere suggestion. Using a singular artistic method that often utilizes photography, collage, inks—and sometimes unexpected inclusions of glitter that add a degree of levity to the composition—Démosthène’s works are contemplative, beautiful, and at the same time often contain a degree of the uncanny. Démosthène has showed her work worldwide, and her work has begun to be collected by a growing list of museums and prestigious private collections.

Textile art has seen a major resurgence in popularity over the past few years, and Qualeasha Wood’s intricate figurative work is a prime example as to why. Unlike the traditionally patterned or experimental textile artworks of decades past, Wood brings her own distinctively contemporary sensibility to the medium. Her most recent tapestries feature images of things such as computer pop-up windows, text notifications, and selfies, and together these elements reflect both the modern and digital reality for black women and femmes. Part of a generation that has lived their entire lives in a world with internet, Wood’s compositions—created in a very traditional art form—present a unique and personal vantage of contemporary life. Wood has been featured in several art fairs as well as group and solo shows since before the pandemic, and with interest in textile art only increasing will surely become a notable figure within the medium.

Both born and based in Mexico City, Lucía Vidales uses a unique stylistic language and diverse sources of inspiration—from historical events to fiction—to create colorful and alluring canvases that transport the viewer to imaginary worlds. The human body is a regular element within her compositions, however, the focus on painting itself and the application of paint remains visually paramount, resulting in polymorphous figuration across her oeuvre. Time, both how it is perceived and understood, is an ever-present theme in Vidales’s work; it is expressed
both through her inimitable painting style that exhibits her process, as well as through her subject matter. Vidales has exhibited widely across North America and abroad, and most recently was featured in The Armory Show, gaining much deserved critical attention.

M. Florine Démosthène, ...Yet So Far, 2022. Courtesy Mariane Ibrahim Gallery & Fabrice Gousset.
Qualeasha Wood, Heart of Glass, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

With everything from social media to revitalized in-person art spaces, there are innumerable avenues in which to discover and engage with new art. Art being made today, perhaps most especially by female artists, is not only furthering the field, but also expanding the conversations around art to include society, culture, history, and even what can be perceived as “reality.” What is here is simply the shortlist—or, rather, a starting point—of artists that we are currently following, but it reflects the growing and thriving current generation of artists that are transforming the art world in a myriad of ways.

Lucía Vidales, We saw it coming, 2022. Courtesy Proxyco Gallery, New York.

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