Five contemporary artists to watch in 2023, according to Christie’s New York specialists

From quickly rising painters who utilise distinctive techniques to artists finally getting their due with major museum retrospectives, these talents are bound to have an exhilarating year


Dominique Fung, Plundered Tombs, 2022. Courtesy of Dominique Fung and Nicodim Gallery 

Hayley BarkerSelected by Nick Cinque, Senior Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art


Hayley Barker, Riverwood 3, 2021, Oil on linen, 80 x 65 in. Courtesy Shrine Gallery

‘I first saw her work in person in one of Harper’s annual summer group shows in East Hampton and have been thinking about her nuanced paintings of nature ever since. Working exclusively from her own photographs, Barker’s scenes of what she calls “spaces of passage” capture the journey between the physical and spiritual with incredibly harmonious palettes. Barker, who lives and works in Los Angeles, opened her first solo show with Night Gallery earlier this month.’

Jaune Quick-to-See SmithSelected by Kat Widing, Specialist, Co-Head of Day Sale, Post-War and Contemporary Art


Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, I See Red: Going Forward, Looking Back, 1996, Mixed media on canvas, 50 x 120 inches (127 x 304.8 cm), Signed and dated, verso. Courtesy the artist and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

‘Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is an artist that I have long admired and foresee having an overdue yet well-deserved market moment. She has been producing complex abstract paintings and prints that embody both her Native culture as well as symbols of American Pop since the 1970s. Her artworks are simultaneously imbued with biting socio-political commentary and tongue-in-cheek satire. The artist’s first New York retrospective opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art in April, which will be an exciting presentation of nearly five decades of her work. Smith has also been a fierce advocate for Native American art as well as social justice, particularly in relation to dialogues around land, racism, and cultural preservation. Smith is represented by Garth Greenan Gallery in New York. This past November, Christie’s set the record for her work at auction at $642,600 (including buyer’s premium) against a pre-sale estimate of $80,000-120,000.’

Justin CaguiatSelected by Isabella Lauria, Specialist, Head of 21st Century Evening Sale

‘Caguiat’s mystical and dreamlike paintings are rooted in both art history and personal memory. These pictures form part of a greater exploration by the artist during the pandemic. These paintings hazily render form and fragment — figuration and abstraction — creating ethereal worlds of memory and feelings filled with layering pools of colour amidst large-scale unstretched canvases. Justin Caguiat was born in Tokyo and is now based between Oakland and New York. 2022 was a big year for him — kicking off with The Warehouse exhibition in Dallas directly followed by his first solo exhibition in New York with Greene Naftali.’

Louise BonnetSelected by Allison Immergut, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art


Louise Bonnet, Projection 1, 2022, Oil on linen, 84 x 70 inches (213.4 x 177.8 cm). © Louise Bonnet. Courtesy Gagosian. Photo: Charles White

‘One artist that is on my radar to watch in 2023 is Louise Bonnet. Bonnet’s work is characterised by her grotesque yet playful figures with exaggerated, bloated limbs. She masterfully mixes aspects of Surrealism and Old Master portraiture to create a style that is uniquely her own. Excitingly her work was selected to be included in the 2022 Venice Biennale’s main show on Surrealism, titled The Milk of Dreams. Bonnet’s top auction prices have all been achieved within the past year and I suspect we will only continue to see her market rise.’

Dominque Fung Selected by AJ Kiyoizumi, Junior Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art


Dominique Fung, Nursing Bare Breasted, 2022. Courtesy of Dominique Fung and Nicodim Gallery

As a second generation Chinese-Canadian painter, Dominique Fung’s work both celebrates her heritage and culture, while also scrutinising how the Western gaze has perceived it. Often featuring porcelain objects and anthropomorphised artifacts, her large-scale paintings bring into question Orientalism’s long history in art and the fetishisation of Asian women more broadly. Last year Fung had her second solo exhibition with Nicodim, where works also examined displacement, migration, and the discovery of new populations. More recently her cage-like sculpture has expanded her Surrealist sensibility, providing another fascinating layer to her transportive, dreamlike oeuvre.

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