Torkwase Dyson, Symbolic Geography #3
Torkwase Dyson, Symbolic Geography #3 (Hypershape), 2022 © Torkwase Dyson, courtesy Pace Gallery

Torkwase Dyson: A Liquid Belonging – Pace Gallery (New York)

Torkwase Dyson, Symbolic Geography #3
Torkwase Dyson, Symbolic Geography #3 (Hypershape), 2022 © Torkwase Dyson, courtesy Pace Gallery

New York – Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new site-specific sculptural installations by Torkwase Dyson, whose multidisciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture, performance, film, and drawing. Titled A Liquid Belonging, the artist’s upcoming exhibition is concerned with embodied experiences that refuse brut infrastructure in the legacy of Modernism in favor of new spatial expectations that inspire liveness and acknowledgements of multisensory belonging. This forthcoming presentation will mark Dyson’s first solo show at Pace’s 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York, on view from November 11 to December 17.

For many years, the artist has understood water as a geography with an indelible tie to architecture and infrastructure. Growing up in Southeast Chicago, living in Mississippi, and studying the intractable damage of extraction have inspired Dyson to explore different water ecosystems by diving in the global south. The artist’s diving practice is in conversation with her research surrounding relationships between environmental liberation, structural violence, and the bodies of water that make up most of the planet. Her art, which often examines the meanings of poetic movement asserting humanity, is deeply informed by these ideas and practices. Through her dispersals of abstract forms, Dyson invites viewers into spatial and perceptual practices that affirm improvisation, indeterminacy, and migration.

Dyson’s unique curvilinear and rectangular hypershapes, which can be found in her work across mediums, speak to infrastructures of liberation and resistance. Dyson’s art is guided by her working philosophy of Black Compositional Thought, through which she considers the ways that architectures, geographies, throughways, enclosures, paths, and other physical and non-physical spaces are composed and inhabited by Black and brown bodies throughout history. Black Compositional Thought, in the artist’s words, also “considers how properties of energy, space, scale, and sound interact as networks of liberation.”

For Dyson, A Liquid Belonging is an experiment in shifting scales. The new, monumental sculptures that will be on view across two floors of Pace’s New York gallery reflect the artist’s expansions of her theories on movement, geography, perception, and material. These site-specific, never-before-seen sculptures will occupy the entirety of Pace’s first and seventh floor exhibition spaces. The dynamic abstractions that constitute these works—which Dyson forges from her distinctive vocabulary of shapes, geometries, lines, and edges—address how individuals negotiate and negate various systems and spatial orders.

Dyson considers the juxtapositions between her touch of hand and use of industrial materials “discursive refusals” that range from the intimacy of mark making to new world building. The multifaceted, sprawling, steel and graphite sculptural installation that will be presented on the gallery’s first floor is made up of shifting weights, textures, and forms to meditate on the connections between scale and movement, enactments of precarity, and the social and political impacts of the climate crisis.

With Dyson’s interest in the inherent possibilities of a multiscalar approach to environmental liberation this installation engages histories of racial and global capitalism, trade, and extraction across oceans, waterways, cities, industries, and other built and natural environments.

Pace’s seventh floor will showcase a new trapezoidal installation made of wood. Descending from the building’s eighth floor balcony and cutting diagonally across the gallery space, this work will invite viewers to pass under and around it, like a pathway. A new wall-mounted sculptural work, Symbolic Geography #3 (Hypershape) (2022), will be exhibited alongside this installation, reflecting Dyson’s embodied experiences of shifting scales between space, time, and distance.

In recent years, Dyson has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Hall Art Foundation at Schloss Derneburg in Germany. Her work currently figures in the traveling group exhibition A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, which will open at the Baltimore Museum of Art on October 30. In 2023, the artist will participate in the Liverpool Biennial in the United Kingdom; the Manchester International Festival in the United Kingdom; the Counterpublic triennial in St. Louis; and Desert X in Palm Springs.

Torkwase Dyson (b. 1973, Chicago, Illinois) describes herself as a painter working across multiple mediums to explore the continuity between ecology, infrastructure, and architecture.

Examining environmental racism as well as the history and future of black spatial liberation strategies, Dyson’s abstract works grapple with the ways in which space is perceived and negotiated, particularly by black and brown bodies. In 2019, Dyson’s solo exhibition I Can Drink the Distance was on view at The Cooper Union, New York, and her work was also presented at the Sharjah Biennial.

In addition to participating in group exhibitions at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Dyson has had solo exhibitions and installations at Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago; Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia; and Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Vermont.

Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.

Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon.

The gallery has also spearheaded explorations into the intersection of art and technology through its new business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists cultivating advanced studio practices. As part of its commitment to technologically engaged artists within and beyond its program, Pace launched a hub for its web3 activity, Pace Verso, in November 2021.

Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide, including a European foothold in London and Geneva, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months, and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace’s long and pioneering history in California includes a gallery in Palo Alto, which operated from 2016 to 2022. Pace’s engagement with Silicon Valley’s technology industry has had a lasting impact on the gallery at a global level, accelerating its initiatives connecting art and technology as well as its work with experiential artists. Pace consolidated its West Coast activity through its flagship in Los Angeles, which opened in 2022. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia, where it operates permanent gallery spaces in Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as an office and viewing room in Beijing. Pace’s satellite exhibition spaces in East Hampton and Palm Beach present continued programming on a seasonal basis.

Torkwase Dyson: A Liquid Belonging
Torkwase Dyson, Symbolic Geography #3

Event Title: Torkwase Dyson: A Liquid Belonging

Start date: November 11, 2022

End date: December 17, 2022

Location name: Pace Gallery New York

Address: 540 West 25th Street

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