10 Emerging Galleries to Watch in Foundations

Jan 25, 2024 5:31PM

The second iteration of Foundations, Artsy’s online art fair, brings together more than 130 galleries from 36 countries, showcasing a diverse array of emerging talent in the digital art market.

Here, we select 10 galleries that stand out for their approach and commitment to fostering new artistic voices.

Installation view of “Junctures” at Chilli Art Projects, 2024. Courtesy of Chilli Art Projects.


Quickly becoming a tastemaking force since its inception in 2021, London gallery Chilli Art Projects has carved a niche in spotlighting avant-garde and underrepresented artists. The artist-run gallery—known for its painting-centric group exhibitions—focuses on platforming diverse, emerging international artists, such as its rostered artists Daniel Santangelo, Richard Mensah, and Kay Gasei.

Championing underrepresented artists, mainly from Africa and its diaspora, this buzzy gallery in the heart of London’s Mayfair neighborhood has become a critical voice in BIPOC+ art in London, often introducing global artists to European audiences for the first time. At Foundations Winter 2024, Chilli is presenting figurative work from artists across its roster, such as Chicago-based painter Jason Shelby Schuler and Eliot Roberts.

At the gallery, Chilli’s current exhibition, “Junctures,” features new paintings from several emerging artists, including Shane Berkery, Lorenço, and Vidal Mouet.

Xinjang, China

Hua Wang, installation view of “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” at Gaotai Gallery, 2023. Courtesy of Gaotai Gallery.

Claiming to be the first contemporary art gallery located in China’s Northwestern region of Xinjang, Gaotai Gallery has become a beacon for showcasing artists from across China as well as along the regions of the ancient Silk Road. Its participation in major Chinese art fairs, like the Beijing Contemporary Art Expo and ART021 in Shanghai, has placed it firmly on the radars of the international art crowd.

Gaotai’s commitment to elevating regional art—predominantly interested in environmental, cultural, and gender concerns—has been evident in recent exhibitions, such as “The Color of Pomegranates” last fall. This show invited nine contemporary female artists from Xinjiang, including Hu Jia Yi, Liu Yu Jia, and Liu Xin. Likewise, its Foundations Winter 2024 selection features work from four artists with deep connections to the Xinjiang region: Hailun Ma, Guzel Zakirova, Hua Wang, and Irpan Alimjan.

Taos, New Mexico

Exterior view of The Valley in Taos, New Mexico. Courtesy of The Valley.


Located in the serene town of Taos, New Mexico, The Valley has emerged as a premier space for contemporary art in the Southwest United States. This year, the gallery participated in NADA and the Dallas Art Fair, where it featured a standout solo exhibition of sculptures from Amelia Lockwood and a group show with works from Lockwood, Travis Boyer, Sophia Heymans, and Fernanda Mello, respectively.

The Valley is developing a reputation for fostering emerging talent outside the mainstream art circuit, with a dedicated focus on craft practices and mysticism. Founder Ari Myer—who previously worked at Kasmin and independently as a curator—focuses on up-and-coming visual artists. The gallery roster comprises six artists, all under 40 years old. For Foundations Winter 2024, the gallery presents work inspired by the four elements from Heymans, Boyer, Lowe Fehn, Sarah Esme Harrison, and Noah Schneiderman—recently featured among Artsy’s 10 artists to discover at the online fair.

San Francisco

Installation view of “A Ripple in the Garden” from the exterior of Soft Times Gallery, 2023. Courtesy of Soft Times Gallery.

Sarah Choe and Brent Hayden opened Soft Times Gallery in San Francisco to find a middle ground in the city’s art scene and help provide a platform for emerging artists. The gallery debuted with an online auction in early 2022, using the profits to build up its physical location in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Over the last two years, the gallery has rapidly grown into a stronghold for emerging artists and a key plank in a burgeoning Bay Area art scene.

The artist-run gallery also seeks to invigorate the San Francisco art ecosystem by partnering with local arts organizations and propelling local artists’ careers. For instance, the gallery regularly helps with the SF First Thursdays Art Walk.

At Foundations Winter 2024, the gallery features several San Francisco–based artists, including Joseph Abbati and Tianna Bracey, who work predominantly in figurative painting.

Nassau, Bahamas

In the Bahamian capital of Nassau, TERN Gallery specializes in representing local artists, playing a critical role in putting art from the Caribbean nation on the global stage. The gallery has made a major splash across the Caribbean region in recent years, dedicating its programming to helping mid-career artists at pivotal moments in their careers.

For Foundations Winter 2024, the gallery is showcasing a group of works from artists including Barbadian photographer Mark King and Trinidadian artist Rodell Warner.

In 2023, the gallery hosted several major art fair exhibitions, including solo presentations of April Bey’s work at The Armory Show in New York. TERN brought work from Bey, Cydne Jasmin Coleby, Kendra Frorup, Kachelle Knowles, Anina Major, and Jodi Minnis to Untitled in Miami last December. Meanwhile, at EXPO Chicago, the gallery featured a two-person showcase of Leasho Johnson and Heino Schmid.

Exterior view of QB Gallery. Courtesy of QB Gallery.

Founded in 2014 by Mikaela B. Aschim and Christine M. Bruu, QB Gallery has become a pivotal force in Norwegian and Scandinavian contemporary art. Its wide-ranging roster of artists has propelled it into the upper echelons of the Oslo art scene, representing rising sculptors such as Andrea Scholze and well-known artists such as Liv Tandrevold Eriksen.

The Oslo-based gallery regularly participates in fairs such as Oslo Negativ and Enter Art Fair in Denmark. In 2021, the gallery was named as one of the Norwegian galleries placing Oslo as an art capital of Europe by the newspaper Aftenposten, which raved that “they have captured the spirit of the times.” At Enter Art Fair last year, the gallery presented a group exhibition from Scholze, Bjørn Båsen, and Lars Morell.

QB Gallery is presenting work from five artists—predominantly sculptors—at Foundations Winter 2024. Many of these are by the Swedish artist Nellie Jonsson, whom the gallery began representing in November 2023.

Exterior view of CHINI Gallery. Courtesy of CHINI Gallery.

Taipei-based tastemaker CHINI Gallery operates under an “exclusive artist management” model, where the gallery takes sole responsibility for its artists’ careers. Founded in 2012, the gallery has garnered a reputation for its incomparable devotion to nurturing the artists and art scenes across Asia.

With a commitment to progress both in Taiwan and internationally, the gallery continues to build a boundary-breaking platform for its artists—attending art fairs or hosting notable solo exhibitions from Ho Kan or Chen Cheng-Wei. Last year, the gallery participated in Art Taipei, where it presented a group exhibition featuring Ho, Suling Wang, Hsu Yu-Jen, Lee Kuang-Yu, and Cai Zhisong.

The gallery’s roster ranges from local Taiwanese artists like photographer Tsai Meng-Chang to international artists such as British painter Daniel Pulman. Both artists are featured in the gallery’s Foundations Winter 2024 presentation.

Lagos, Nigeria

First established in 2017, Lagos’s Ogirikan Art Gallery is devoted to featuring emerging and young artists. Known for its affordable and accessible contemporary art exhibitions, the gallery has become a key platform for new voices in Nigerian art and globally. Its Foundations Winter 2024 exhibition includes work from artists predominantly under the age of 35, including Nigerian painter Eyituoyomi Martins Ewetan and Indian painter Zara Ayazuddin Shaikh.

Ogirikan also hosts the annual Miniature Art Fair in Nigeria, showcasing 1,000 pieces of art at affordable prices. Its fourth edition took place in April 2023. Above all, the gallery focuses on art’s role in social commentary and cultural expression, offering a platform for diverse artistic perspectives. Currently, it is hosting the third edition of its “Visual Explorations” exhibition series, each iteration showcasing five artists from across West Africa. This includes 23-year-old artist Mesewaku Sejiro Paul and 27-year-old Stephen Abhulimen, both from Nigeria.

Brooklyn, New York

Karian Amaya Alba, installation view of “Ode to Air” at Yi Gallery, 2023. Courtesy of Yi Gallery.

Situated by the Gowanus Bay waterfront, Yi Gallery is quickly gaining a strong reputation in Brooklyn’s gallery scene. The gallery, which opened its Industry City space in October 2021, initially operated as an itinerant curatorial project in 2018 and ran a collaborative space in Bushwick from 2020 to 2021. In the last year, the gallery has hosted buzzy experimental solo exhibitions from neon artist Annesta Le and abstract painter Elizabeth Gilfilen.

In recent years, Yi Gallery has become a torchbearer for experimental, interdisciplinary art forms, especially from younger artists. Yi Gallery made its Miami Art Week debut last year, bringing work from Le and Mexican sculptor Karian Amaya to Untitled Art. At Foundations Winter 2024, the gallery is hosting a solo presentation of abstract painter Margrethe Aanestad.

Kolja Kärtner Sainz, installation view of “Perpetuum” at DS Galerie, 2023. Photo by Romain Darnaud. Courtesy of DS Galerie.

Evolving from a nomadic, curatorial project, Double Séjour, DS Galerie has transformed into one of Paris’s buzziest contemporary art galleries. The gallery opened its brick-and-mortar in March 2023 in the Le Marais gallery district and has since hosted six noteworthy exhibitions, including most recently Kolja Kärtner Sainz’s “Perpetuum.” In Foundations Winter 2024, the gallery is presenting work from across its year-round programming, including works from Sainz and painter Margaux Meyer.

Thanks to its bold program and appearances in art fairs including Art-O-Rama in Marseille, Paris Photo, and Material in Mexico, DS Galerie has already positioned itself as a significant contributor to Paris’s blossoming art scene. Its focus on emerging talent both enriches the Parisian art scene and provides a platform for new artists to gain international recognition.

Maxwell Rabb

Maxwell Rabb is Artsy’s Staff Writer.

Thumbnail and header: Travis Boyer, detail of “Golden Comet Legs,” 2023. Courtesy of the artist and The Valley.

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