7 Impressive Emerging Artists to Watch From the Frieze Week Fairs in London
We scouted the many fairs to find a selection of rising artists you may not yet know.
Walking through aisle after aisle during London’s Frieze Week, it’s easy for all the art to blur together. But for those paying close attention, there are plenty of discoveries to be made.
We scoured the major fairs underway in the UK capital this week, from Frieze London and Masters to 1-54 and beyond, to find exciting talents. You may not have heard of them yet—some are better known in their home countries and are just beginning to gain international renown—but you will know them soon enough.
We selected artists based on a mix of factors: they have gained some institutional traction, with inclusion in biennials or major exhibition; they have some high-profile buyers and supporters; their work is memorable and distinct; their prices still have room to grow; and they have that distinctly unquantifiable, ever-elusive distinction: buzz.
Who: The Bronx-based artist, born in 1985, is showing new abstract works that transform fragments of colored glass into terrazzo panels that explore identity and how people rebuild their lives after traumatic events. Named after jazz compositions, Gumby’s iridescent wall pieces pack plenty of what auctioneers call wall power. The young artist brings something new to the party thrown by similar artists, such as Jack Whitten, Sam Gilliam, and Robert Rauschenberg.
On View: False Flag at the Sunday Art Fair
Based in: New York
Why You Should Pay Attention: Trained as a painter, Gumby found his voice in glass. Like Rauschenberg when he spotted the potential of rubber tires, Gumby’s turning point came after he saw a smashed bus shelter near his studio in the Bronx. After earning his MFA at Yale, Gumby undertook a year-long residency at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris via a summer residency at the the Camden Arts Centre in London. He has also hung out at Captiva in Florida on a Rauschenberg fellowship. The artist Rashid Johnson included Gumby’s work in the 2017 group show “For Color” and other recent group shows include “Abstract, Representational, and so forth,” at Gladstone Gallery in New York this past summer.
What to Look Out For: The New York-based False Flag gallery is showing a series of square terrazzo panels in two sizes. All have romantic titles, many inspired by classic jazz tracks. The artist’s blue-note piece Soul Searching (2019) is one of three works that have sold or are on reserve.
Prices: $3,000 and $12,000
Who: Born in 1986, Creuzet is a French-Caribbean visual artist, filmmaker, performer, and poet. He grew up in Martinique, and his work interrogates his own diasporic experience, as well as issues of migration and creolization.
On View: High Art at Frieze London
Based in: Paris
Why You Should Pay Attention: Creuzet is the recipient of the Camden Arts Center’s emerging artist prize this year. The award, which is in its second year, underwrites a major exhibition at the center. He has had solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, the Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, and the Frac Basse-Normandie.
What to Look Out For: Creuzet is best known for his hanging sculptural work, but his practice also includes video works.
Prices: €5,000 to €17,000.
Up Next: Creuzet has an upcoming solo show at High Art opening on October 17, and he will be part of a group exhibition at the musee d’art moderne in Paris titled “You” opening on October 11. His exhibition at the Camden Arts Center is slated for October 2020.
Suki Seokyeong Kang
Who: Born 1977, Kang originally trained as a painter, but her practice shifted towards sculpture around a decade ago. There is a painterly quality to her works, which also spans installation, video, and choreography. Her work draws on her own personal history to probe her position in the rapidly transforming society of South Korea.
On View: Kukje Gallery at Frieze London
Based in: Seoul
Why You Should Pay Attention: Kang’s career has been skyrocketing since last year, after she won Art Basel’s Baloise Art Prize, which is given to young artists exhibiting in the fair’s Statements section. She has been growing her profile as a biennial artist, having made work for the Gwangju Biennial and the Liverpool Biennial. Perhaps most significantly, she is included in the main exhibition of the 2019 Venice Biennale.
What to Look Out For: Keep your eyes peeled, because Kang’s interest in the human body means that she doesn’t make works larger or heavier than she can lift herself. She is probably best known for her “Grandmother Tower” series, which consist of abstract sculptural portraits of her grandmother, emphasizing her curved stature and hesitant gait.
Prices: The works at Frieze London are priced between $18,000 to $23,000.
Up Next: Her work in Venice is on view through November 24, and she has an ongoing solo exhibition at the Mudam Luxembourg until April 2020.
Tania Pérez Córdova
Who: Córdova, born in 1979, creates sculptures of prosaic objects—like a brass trumpet, a piece of wire fence, or a glass jar—by casting them, melting them down, and recasting them in their own molds. The results are objects that look like echoes or memories of their former selves. The artist likes to say that she could continue this process indefinitely—or at least until each object degrades so much that it disappears.
On View: Galerie Martin Janda at Frieze London
Based in: Mexico City
Why You Should Pay Attention: Córdova’s career has been on a steep upward trajectory since 2015, when she was included in the New Museum Triennial in New York. Since then, she has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2017 and the Kunsthalle Basel last year. Her work has also been acquired by top patrons including the Colección Cisneros.
What to Look Out For: Like lots of good art, Córdova’s work makes you look at the world with a bit more care and attention—it makes things you normally take for granted just strange enough to require a second glance. Two of her objects—including a worn trumpet she bought off a man busking in her neighborhood—are on view at Frieze, offering an opportunity for elegiac reflection amid the sensory overload of the fair.
Prices: The works at Frieze London are priced between €11,300 and €13,600.
Up Next: She will be the subject of a solo show at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City next year, according to her gallery.
Jacqueline de Jong
Who: Jacqueline de Jong, 80, is one of those artists who played an important and active role in the European avant-garde, but whose contributions were largely sidelined in favor of her more famous male companions. Her work—unabashedly autobiographical, brash, bright, and figurative—was unfashionable at the height of Minimalism in the 1960s and ‘70s, but looks exceedingly forward-thinking and fresh today.
On View: Pippy Houldsworth Gallery at Frieze Masters
Based in: Amsterdam and the Bourbonnais province of France
Why You Should Pay Attention: De Jong won this year’s outstanding merit prize—awarded to a female artist who has been working for 30 years or more—from the Paris-based nonprofit AWARE. Her work has been extensively collected by museums in Europe, including the Moderna Museet, the Centre Pompidou, and the Stedelijk Museum. She also counts Texas-based collector Howard Rachofsky as a supporter. But she remains relatively little known in the United States.
What to Look Out For: The Frieze Masters presentation focuses on de Jong’s work between 1968—when she produced posters for the student protest movement in Paris—and 1971, when she was living between Paris and Amsterdam. During that time, she began to make paintings on small-scale canvases that were hinged together like suitcases so they could easily be opened and closed and transported from one city to another.
Prices: The works at Frieze Masters are priced between €24,000 to €45,000.
Who: The 37-year-old South African photographer and installation artist makes works depicting an archetypal Apartheid-era domestic worker named Sophie.
On View: SMAC Gallery at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Based in: Johannesburg
Why You Should Pay Attention: Sibande is having her first solo exhibition in the UK, titled “I Came Apart at the Seams,” at Somerset House in London. It is organized in partnership with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair. Earlier this year, she had a solo exhibition at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery at the Columbia School of the Arts. Her work is included in collections including the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
What to Look Out For: Sibande is continuously transforming representations of Sophie, and each series can be distinguished by a presiding color.
Prices: The works at 1-54 are priced between £8,000 and £12,000.
Up Next: Her work is on view at Somerset House until January 5, 2020.
Who: Mundt is a 37-year-old artist who creates tirelessly inventive paintings that overflow with technical precision while still disarming with grace and humor.
On View: Société at Frieze London
Based in: New York
Why You Should Pay Attention: After showing with beloved but now-shuttered New York galleries Clifton Benevento and Off Vendome, Mundt staged solo shows in 2018 at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in Harlem and at Bridget Donahue in Chinatown. She also had a show with her Berlin gallery, Société, that was called “Lana Del Rey,” and did not appear to have anything to do with the singer of the same name.
What to Look Out For: She may be best known for the work that she debuted at the 2019 Whitney Biennial, which showed Olympic gymnasts in various freeze-frames. At Frieze, her gallery is showing earlier works, yellow green landscapes from 2014, that are no less stunning.
Prices: Around €30,000
Up Next: Mundt has a show at the Los Angeles gallery Overduin & Co. that is up until October 26, and will have her next show at Société in 2020.
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