Precious Okoyomon Wins 2021 Frieze Artist Award

The New York-based artist will realise a major commission, supported by Luma Foundation at Frieze New York 2021

in Frieze New York , Videos | 25 FEB 21
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Precious Okoyomon is the winner of the 2021 Frieze Artist Award at Frieze New York, taking place at The Shed, May 5-9, 2021. 

Precious Okoyomon
Precious Okoyomon: photo by Sam Penn

Supported by the Luma Foundation, the award presents a major opportunity for an emerging artist to debut an ambitious new commission.

For Frieze New York 2021, Okoyomon will present a performance-activated installation conceived specifically for The Shed. Extending their practice, Okoyomon’s work will aim to create what the artist describes as ‘a portal for a space of fragilization.’ Convening poetry, sensory elements, sculpture, light, and sound, the work will celebrate self-expression and champion the value of shared, collective experience. The performance will be filmed and streamed online at from May 5 onwards, allowing audiences across the globe to engage with the project. 

Okoyomon’s commission was selected by a jury chaired by Jenny Schlenzka (Executive Artistic Director at Performance Space New York), and featuring Ralph Lemon (Artistic Director, Cross Performance), Vassilis Oikonomopoulos (Senior Curator, Luma Arles), and Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art, MOMA).

In recent years, the Frieze Artist Award in New York and Luma Foundation have debuted significant large-scale sculptures by leading international artists. In 2021, we could not be more excited to work with an exceptional New Yorker, Precious Okoyomon on realizing their live project in collaboration with The Shed. It has been hugely beneficial to work with Jenny Schlenzka of Performance Space, which is moving boundaries as a leading institution, and our expert jury who are the world’s tastemakers in performance art amongst much more.  - Loring Randolph, Director of Programming, Frieze New York


Precious Okoyomon “A Drop of Sun Under The Earth,” Exhibition view at the LUMA Westbau, Zurich, 2019
Precious Okoyomon A Drop of Sun Under The Earth, Exhibition view at the LUMA Westbau, Zurich, 2019. Courtesy of the artist, the LUMA Westbau, and Quinn Harrelson / Current Projects. Photo by Nelly Rodriguez 


The jury is proud to present Precious Okoyomon with the Frieze Artist Award. Simultaneously playful and critically inquisitive, this singular artist-poet’s work highlights the inevitability of change, decay, death, and rebirth. By extending poetry into the organic world, Okoyomon reminds us that apocalypse and utopia coexist and always have. - Jenny Schlenzka, Executive Artistic Director, Performance Space New York 

Precious Okoyomon, Earthseed, Exhibition view
Precious Okoyomon, Earthseed, Exhibition view at the Museum Für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 2020. Courtesy of the artist, the Museum Für Moderne Kunst, and Quinn Harrelson / Current Projects. Photo by Axel Schneider

Launched in 2018, the initiative furthers the established program of Artist Award commissions at Frieze London. Previous recipients of the award at Frieze New York include Lauren Halsey and Kapwani Kiwanga


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