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Torkwase Dyson’s work engages exigent issues regarding climate, ecosystems, architecture, infrastructure, and systems—bringing them into conversation with historical and contemporary meditations on the interiority, agency, and genius of Black and brown people’s spatial practices. Dyson’s art spans painting, drawing, sculpture, animation, and collaboration with her performance collective, Dark Adaptive.
Dyson’s residency project, Bird and Lava, was indelibly shaped by the entwined public health crises of COVID-19, and the renewed reckoning with systemic racism and state sanctioned violence in 2020. This new body of work focuses on the industrial in relationship to what is “at hand”—knowledge, tools, skills. She created a website to document her research and work over the course of the residency, which served as a fluid index of intellectual and material resources, reflections, speculation, and critical fabulation.
New paintings and sculpture (presented two ways) were featured in the group exhibition Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment on view January 30-August 15, 2021. Dyson has also presented works related to main forms of Bird and Lava at Pace Gallery and the 2021 Shanghai Biennial.
Dyson gave a public talk that was moderated by Ann Hamilton and Sandhya Kochar. She also hosted a session of her Wynter-Wells Drawing School for Ohio State students in the Department of Art and the Knowlton School of Architecture. Titled “Drawing in the Water: Mining, Structure, Self, and Liquidity in the Time of Extraction,” the virtual session featured LeRonn P. Brooks, Associate Curator of Contemporary Collections, Getty Research Institute, who discussed architect Paul R. Williams work and archive.
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Photo: Gabe Souza. © Torkwase Dyson