It couldn’t have been easy for Perrotin to lose its star artist of 11 years, KAWS, especially at the peak of his auction market. Two months after his departure however, Perrotin seems to be back in full swing, having added four new artists to its roster: Gabriel de la Mora, Genesis Belanger, Claire Tabouret and Emily Mae Smith.
“My introduction to these artists, and their important work, is inseparable from the global network that we have built,” Emmanuel Perrotin said in a statement, referencing the gallery’s expansion to Tokyo, Shanghai and New York in its recent years. “As our geographic footprint grew and developed, so did conversation and collaboration.”
Perrotin has risen to fame for launching the careers of some of the most sought after neo-Pop artists like Takashi Murakami, KAWS, Mr., and Daniel Arsham. The new additions come as the gallery prepares for a KAWS-free roster and attempts to bolster its number of female artists to around 50, having previously come under scrutiny for its 90% male roster.
Valentine Blondel, Perrotin’s senior director, told the Art Newspaper that there was an “immediate resonance” among the new artists’ style and the existing network the gallery has. “The magical realism and social commentary in Genesis Belanger’s works find immediate kinship with seminal artists such as Maurizio Cattelan and Wim Delvoye,” she added. “Similarly, Gabriel de la Mora’s exacting minimal abstractions build on the influence of pioneering Latin American artists like Jesús Rafael Soto and Julio Le Parc.”
Along with the new additions, Perrotin hosted Emily Mae Smith’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in Tokyo on August 28 titled Avalon. The show featured seven works that addressed notions of paradise and corruption. Explaining her work, Smith said: “I’m working out of a symbolist tradition but with the 21st-century feminist painter’s lens aimed toward inclusion, agency and making space for new myths”.
Smith added that moving forward, she will be working on a series of large paintings that will take some time to create, as well as collaborating on a book with French curator Éric Troncy, who curated her first museum show at Le Consortium Dijon in 2018.