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Torkwase Dyson

Born 1973, Chicago, Illinois 

Torkwase Dyson is an abstract artist working across multiple mediums, including painting and sculpture. The work on view, Metamorphosis 1, demonstrates her originality and proficiency as a printmaker. The techniques she has deployed – iterations of etching (aquatint and spitbite aquatint) and very delicate collage (chine collé) - have led her to a striking image that is formally elegant and quietly evocative.

Embarking on the opportunity to experiment with printmaking processes, Dyson explained: “I knew I wanted to explore the physicality of inked plates being pressed into paper. I imagined the experience of absorption and quietly thought about light and color. It was a question of color as object and space. I was interested in the flatness of the ink on paper. The rich but flat surface. These are productive contradictions I think about in my practice in general.”

As an abstract artist, Dyson favors and explores shades of black. She associates her formal language with her broader passions and concerns, particularly for people of color. These include the consequences of climate change, as well as the challenges and inequities present in architecture and infrastructure.

Dyson studied sociology and social work at Tougaloo College, Mississippi. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Yale. Her works have been included in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C, Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and biennial exhibitions including the Whitney (2024), Desert X, in Palm Spring, and the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates. She has had monographic exhibitions and installations at the Colby College Museum of Art in Maine, the Graham Foundation in Chicago, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, among others.