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Artists That Deserve Your Attention After Frieze New York 2021

Updated: May 12, 2021

By JY&A New York. May 11th, 2021.

The first physical opening of the Frieze international contemporary fair at The Shed in New York City after 1.5 years of the global pandemic was a blessing for everyone attending the fair. We prepared the following detailed report on what's been cherished by the attending collectors and the current global art market. We hope that our report can help those who couldn't attend the fair to experience the exciting artworks and the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the event remotely.

Our current report is based on our in-depth conversations and investigation with each gallery we mentioned in our article, and with which we keep working closely. Collectors and art lovers having questions or inquiries about the artists, their works, or galleries in the current report are welcome to contact us at at your convenience. We will do our best to reply to you and provide the information or services you need within the shortest timeline.


Karen Kilimnik (American artist born in 1955)

Blue-chip artist

Solo exhibition by Galerie Eva Presenhuber (Zurich, Switzerland) at Frieze New York 2021

Karen Kilimnik, The Fairie Queens Sheep in the Woods, 2021. Water-soluble oil color on canvas. 30 x 24 x 3/4 inches / 76 x 61 x 2 cm. $ 175,000

Image courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

On our visit day (Saturday, May 7th), multiple pieces have shown "sold." The paintings' price range was between $60,000 and $175,000, and drawings priced from $15,000 to $110,000.

Karen Kilimnik is a contemporary American artist subverting the traditions of painting and installation to investigate contemporary notions of celebrity and obsession. Her small-scale paintings are both sophisticated and slapdash, deliberately evoking the efforts of an amateur painter depicting their favorite movie star, copying a postcard of a resort, or attempting the techniques of an Old Master. Today, her works can be found in The Museum of Modern Art collections in New York, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, among others. Kilimnik lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

Annette Messager (French artist born in 1943)

Blue-chip artist

Solo exhibition by Marian Goodman Gallery (New York, Paris) at Frieze New York 2021

Annette Messager, En Même Temps (At the same Time), 2021. 5 drawings (acrylic on Japanese paper), 42 effigies, polyurethane foam, aluminum foil, acrylic paint, string. 141.73 x 204.72 inches / 360 x 520 cm. Price on Application.

Visual material provided by Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

En même temps, 2021, an installation of drawings and Petites effigies, is inspired in part by art history – drawing on, as Messager says, Constructivism and Constantin Brâncusi to Oskar Schlemmer and Alberto Giacometti. The opacity and uniformity of these small figures indicate parity between the forty-some tiny sculptures, which are "hieratic and upright and represent us humans, and seem to be observing us.’ Messager integrates several organic, elongated drawings that bring the inside-outside in dialogue with these small figures, making the unseen seen. The drawings ‘play on our bodies, our organs, our fantasies; they seep in and circulate, seeming to disrupt the dignity of these little effigies, at the same time."

The Petites effigies, the tiny figures that Messager pins and suspends, and personifies and memorializes in her wall installations, represent hybrid forms that recall childhood toys or fetish objects. Often arranged in the style of entomological collections, placed at systematic intervals along a wall, they have been exhibited in diverse historical contexts over the years.

(Marian Goodman Gallery)

Trenton Doyle Hancock (American artist born in 1974)

Established representation

Solo exhibition by James Cohen Gallery (New York) at Frieze New York 2021

“Recently, in my comics and paintings, I’ve used the Klansman to represent America’s contract with White Supremacy, especially how that contract is negotiated with Black Americans. I’ve paired the volatile klansman symbol with my own Black superhero, Torpedoboy, to highlight the “exchange” or dialogue that Black Americans are forced into daily.”

- Trenton Doyle Hancock

[On the right]

Trenton Doyle Hancock

Step and Screw: West End Scrap #3


Acrylic, ink, and paper collage on canvas.

30 x 30 inches / 76.2 x 76.2 cm.

$ 38,000

Image courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

Trenton Doyle Hancock solo exhibition at James Cohen Gallery at Frieze New York 2021

Photo courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

Since the early 21st century, Trenton Doyle Hancock has been merging comic book narratives and abstraction in his vibrant, dizzyingly detailed prints, drawings, and mixed-media paintings, in which he explores the struggles within himself and in our world. For the first nine years of his career, he focused on creating an epic, allegorical tale, shaped, in part, by the Biblical stories with which he grew up. Each of his works is a part of this ongoing drama, in which beehive-like “Mounds,” representing, in his words, “the Earth and stability,” battle with skeletal “Vegans,” who he describes as “a mob…unleashed to upset that stability.” Representative of the ongoing strife among humans, his compositions is full of words, colors, and imaginative characters. Recently, Hancock has turned more inward, producing autobiographical works featuring himself as the protagonist. (James Cohen Gallery)

Rashid Johnson (American artist born in 1977)

Blue-chip representation

Presented by Hauser & Wirth Gallery (New York, LA, London, Hong Kong, Zurich...) at Frieze New York 2021

Rashid Johnson, Bruise Painting "Blue Bird, "2021. Oil on linen. 98 × 86 × 2 1/2 inches / 248.9 × 218.4 × 6.4 cm. Sold $ 750,000

Image courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. After studying in the photography department of the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson’s practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media – including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking, and installation ­– yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history. Johnson’s practice is defined by its critical evocations and entangling of racial and cultural identity, African American history, and mysticism. Many of his early works took the form of conceptual photography. However, Johnson eventually expanded his practice to include wall-based works that engage the legacy of painting, sculptural installation, and assemblage using manufactured materials like shea butter, books records, and incense. “The goal,” Johnson explains, “is for all of the materials to miscegenate into a new language, with me as its author.” Johnson also exercises a range of mark-making techniques—like scoring, scraping, engraving, and branding—using self-made tools. (Hauser & Wirth Gallery)


Katherine Bernhardt (American artist born in 1975)

Blue-chip representation

Presented Canada Gallery (New York) at Frieze New York 2021

Katherine Bernhardt first garnered the art world’s attention with her portraits of fashion models, exploring hyperreal fashion photography and mainstream notions of beauty. More recently, she has focused her energies on a series of “Pattern Paintings”—large-scale works in tropical, sherbert hues depicting banal consumer goods arranged in the style of jazz patterns. Fluid and hurried, Bernhardt’s canvases are seemingly provisional, radiating energy to express the pleasure of art-making. First exploring patterns in the context of imported rugs, Bernhardt’s more recent works stem from an interest in Dutch wax printing and the all-over patterning of African textiles. Her subjects are selected and grouped according to underlying emotional associations—whether hamburgers, french fries, and basketballs; or coffee, cigarettes, and pizza—and broken down into elemental details, pure forms, and swaths of color to build simpler, yet expressive, arrangements.

Katherine Bernhardt, Mas de ti, 2021

Acrylic and spray paint on canvas

198.12 x 182.88 cm / 78 x 72 inches

Sold $ 65,000

Image courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

Dominic Chambers (American artist born in 1993)

Presented by Lehmann Maupin Gallery (New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, London) at Frieze New York 2021

Dominic Chambers, Book Stack 1, 2021. Oil on linen. 65.98 x 55.98 inches / 167.6 x 142.2 cm. Sold in the range of $ 40,000

Image courtesy of Juliette Yuan & Associates New York

Dominic Chambers' practice explores various literary narratives, mythologies, and magical realism. A writer himself, Chambers places most of his subjects in moments of leisure and rest, reading a book or engaging in quiet contemplation. In these images, the environments surrounding his figures are intangible. Their mutability is meant to reflect the power of literature to transform our relationship with the world around us. In his Wash Paintings, including Gabriel's Resting Place (2021), the artist refers to the book The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B Dubois and one of its central themes- the veil. The veil is a metaphorical lens through which black bodies are observed and experienced as a product of racial injustice. Considering the words of Dubois, Chambers washes pre-construc