Torkwase Dyson

Eyebeam supported Torkwase Dyson in 2015. During this time, Dyson worked on and exhibited a body of work from this period of deep research and practice. Eyebeam provided her the time and freedom to continue her exploration of urgent questions around race, both historically and in the present day.

Her solo exhibition Unkeeping, held at Eyebeam in 2016, surveyed two years of Dyson’s work in minimal geometric abstraction. Her abstract paintings and sculptures were used as a system to deepen understandings of the built and natural environment focusing on ideas of slavery. The New York Times described this exhibition as effectively hijacking “the histories of abstraction and black painting, offering a compelling rejoinder to the idea of “pure,” ahistoric and universal abstraction. It is an evocative and timely gambit”.

During this time Dyson also opened up these ideas to a wider audience with her panel Black Spatial Matters with writer and scholar Tony Bogues and architect Mario Gooden. They discussed the role of historical racial and colonial power in the Americas. Considering this, these thinkers drew on their research to imagine a critical humanism, and its relevance for an expanded notion of environmental justice.