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Visiting Artists Program (VAP) Resource Guides

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The Visiting Artists Program resource guides contain upcoming speakers' biographies, articles, video and audio content, related publications in the Flaxman Library, and additional online resources. These guides may be used in the classroom in preparation for the event, research, or post-lecture discussion.

Torkwase Dyson: Tuesday, March 7, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Fullerton Hall, 111 S. Michigan Ave.

This event will be live captioned by Communication Access Realtime Translation services.

Join us in person for a lecture by artist Torkwase Dyson followed by an audience Q&A.


Portrait of Torkwase DysonWorking in painting, drawing, and sculpture, Torkwase Dyson combines expressive mark-making and geometric abstraction to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. Dyson deconstructs, distills, and interrogates the built environment, exploring how individuals—particularly Black and Brown people—negotiate, negate, and transform systems and spatial order. Her work has extended beyond traditional studio practices in projects such as Studio South Zero (SSZ), a solar-powered mobile studio for learning and making art about the environment, or the roving pedagogical site The Wynter-Wells Drawing School for Environmental Liberation (2018–present). In projects such as I Can Drink the Distance (2019) and Liquid A Place (2021), Dyson created sculptural and architectural installations that provide a platform for collaboration with other artists, dancers, and thinkers. Throughout her work and research, Dyson seeks to confront issues of environmental liberation, envisioning a path toward a more equitable future.

Dyson’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago; Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia; Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Vermont; The Hall Art Foundation, Schloss Derneburg, Germany; and Serpentine Galleries, London. Group exhibitions include The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Drawing Center, New York; Corcoran School of Arts and Design and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, among others. Dyson presented a newly commissioned work for the group exhibition A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Baltimore Museum of Art in 2022.

Portrait credit: Torkwase Dyson. Photo: Weston Wells. Courtesy Gray, Chicago/New York

Artist Website

Torkwase Dyson’s website

Gallery Representation

Gray Gallery
Pace Gallery


A Movement in Every Direction
Aruna D’Souza | 4 Columns | December 9, 2022 

Torkwase Dyson Seeks Black Liberation Through Geometry
Jason Stopa | Hyperallergic | December 7, 2022 

An Artist’s Gateway to Freedom and Possibility*
Siddhartha Mitter | New York Times | November 10, 2022 
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

In the studio with… Torkwase Dyson
Apollo Magazine | July 18, 2022 

Torkwase Dyson with Robert R. Shane
Robert R. Shane | Brooklyn Rail | September 2020 

Torkwase Dyson: New Orleans Museum of Art*
Erica Rawles | Artforum International | July 1, 2020 
*This is a library resource that requires ARTIC login

Torkwase Dyson’s New Show Is an Abstract Meditation on the Racial Violence of the 1919 Red Summer
Nicole Miller | Art in America | December 1, 2019




Torkwase Dyson at the Hall Art Foundation’s Schloss Derneburg location
Torkwase Dyson (September 3, 2021 – May 15, 2022) presents an overview of Dyson’s approach to abstraction and focus on the idea of liquidity and water as a grounding principle.

Torkwase Dyson: Black Compositional Thought | 15 Paintings for the Plantationocene at New Orleans Museum of Art
Torkwase Dyson: Black Compositional Thought | 15 Paintings for the Plantationocene (January 24, 2020 – January 10, 2021) is inspired by the design systems of architecture, water infrastructure, the oil and gas industry, and the physical impact of global warming.

1919: Black Water at Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University
1919: Black Water (September 27 – December 14, 2019) presents new paintings, sculpture, and drawings that respond to the 100th anniversary of the “Red Summer” of 1919, a period of heightened racial violence across the United States.

Visiting Artists Program Lecture Recordings from the Archive
SAIC Visiting Artists Program video and audio lecture recordings (1977–present.) Available with SAIC login credentials.

SAIC Digital Collections: Visiting Artists Program
SAIC Visiting Artists Program publicity archive and audio recordings (197798).