Graham Fellowship

  • Wynter-Wells School
    Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago
    May 03, 2018 to Jul 14, 2018
    Torkwase Dyson

Torkwase Dyson, 2016. Courtesy the artist

Artist Torkwase Dyson will use the Graham Foundation galleries as both a site of installation and an incubator for discussion in her latest convening of the Wynter-Wells School—named for Jamaican writer Sylvia Wynter and American Civil Rights leader Ida B. Wells. By employing then redacting two strategies of spatial representation: elevation and section drawings, Dyson simultaneously invites and partially eliminates the pictorial in favor of form in space. The resulting works invite analysis through science, fragmentation, site, and the culture of spatial engineering, architecture, and geography to theorize a new system of geometric abstraction. This system considers techniques culled from a wide range of disciplines to initiate dialogue about form, geography, and spatiality in an era of human induced climate change. Investigating and attempting to dislodge who owns shapes and how they operate, Dyson will work with invited collaborators and the public to theorize her own formal concepts of “black compositional thought” and “hypershapes” using the School as a vehicle to experiment with a range of drawing actions, media, and forms. This project is constructed as an open proposition toward systems that regard logic and sensoria as an impetus of form in today’s technological, design, and political crisis.

Torkwase Dyson, born in Chicago, is an artist based in New York whose practice draws on her interest in abstraction, social architecture, and environmental justice. She began engaging social architecture through her project Studio South Zero (2014–ongoing), a mobile studio that relies on solar power and supports multidisciplinary artmaking. Recent solo exhibitions of Dyson’s work have been presented at the Drawing Center, New York City; Landmark Gallery, Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Eyebeam, Brooklyn; and the Meat Market Gallery, Washington, DC. Her work has also been included in exhibitions in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Martos Gallery; Postmasters Gallery; and We Buy Gold, Brooklyn as well as at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, and the National Museum of African Art, Washington DC. Dyson’s work has been supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation; Nancy Graves Foundation; Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center. She is on the board of the Architectural League of New York and is a visiting critic at the Yale University School of Art. She is represented by Davidson Contemporary, New York; and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.