The Top 5 Booths at MiArt 2024

WIth the global art fair market becoming more dominated by the behemoths Frieze and Art Basel, and all the satellite fairs that pop up alongside them, MiArt in Milan is carving out its own path with a 2024 edition that includes more than 1,000 works displayed by 178 galleries from across 28 countries. We’ve picked five booths from this year’s MiArt that impressed us the most and we think you should visit at the fair.

Nuova Galleria Morone at MiArt 2024 Milan

Nuova Galleria Morone, Milan

The history of humanity is the history of stories and Maria Lai’s work weaves these stories into her works, specifically the Sardinian stories of fairies that turned into women – the artist lived out her later years on the island of Sardinia. A fabric book with string-like tendrils emanating from it is more typical of her work but it’s the large scale wall-based pieces that draw us in. A piece made of wooden boxes references the homes of fairies and the golden thread linking together is based on that of a loom. While a terracotta wall of panels also works in thread like textures on to their surface. The solo booth is filled with intricate details and fascinating histories. 

Young Wook Choi, Karma, 2024. Image Courtesy Joong Jung Gallery | Artwork Copyright Young Wook Choi.
Jin Kyu Park, Untitled, 2024. Image Courtesy Joong Jung Gallery | Artwork Copyright Jin Kyu Park

Joong Jung, Seoul

In an art fair it’s often the vivid colours that draw the eye and this booth of two extremely subtle artists could easily be missed, when it shouldn’t be. Using a syringe-like tool, Jin Kyu Park creates layered textured works from acrylic paint that look like they should be made from a material that’s far more solid or that could collapse in on itself at any point. While Young Wook Choi, the other artist on the booth, paints large scale vases in acrylic and then hand draws hundreds of lines and crack on the surface using coloured pencils that give the works remarkable depth. It’s a great combination of two artists demonstrating mastery of technique. 

Théo Massoulier, CriSpr.2024.II-IV, 2024, photo: Sebastiano Luciano; courtesy of the artist and Gaep

Gaep, Bucharest

Visions of a cyborg future where animal and plant matter fuse with technology is what science fiction has been promising us – and people remain divided on whether that will be a good or a bad thing. French artist Théo Massoulier brings this idea into his works so we have strange creatures that could be from the past or a genetically manipulated future, and a sprouting entity sat atop what appears to be an operating table. Using a lot of found material makes us feel like this sci-fi future may not be fiction for much longer.

Emily Jacir, stazione (Rialto Mercato), 2009, courtesy the artist and Simóndi Gallery

Simondi, Turin 

In a powerfully political booth we’re confronted with a large red and black banner that states us in Arabic. It’s a work by Emily Jacir that draws us to her smaller photographic series of her planned event for the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 where all Vaporetto stops would also have their names in Arabic inscribed next to the Roman stop. It was all approved until the Venetian authorities pulled the plug without giving a reason. Another political artist on the booth is Fatma Bucak who remarks on how the Damascus Rose, famed for its beautiful scene and used in perfumes, is threatened in its native area by war – whose contrasting foul smell is overpowering the rose’s sweetness.

Gathering’s booth at MiArt 2024. Photo by Nicola Morittu

Gathering, London

Organic meets inorganic as fibrous bodies seem to erupt from concrete contrasting the bodily to the straight lines of the manmade. Soojin Kang’s work always has the feeling it could come to life and grow in front of our eyes as it morphs into new and unpredictable shapes. Being surrounded by the works on the solo booth we’re torn between wanting to be enveloped by it but also slightly repulsed by something that feels both natural and unnatural at the same time. 

Written by Tabish Khan

MiArt, Milan is on from 12-14 April

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