Torkwase Dyson exhibition reviewed in ARTFORUM

Torkwase Dyson (American, b. 1970), Way Over There Inside Me (Ocean as a Super Throughway #1–4), 2020, four panels, Graphite, acrylic, charcoal, and ink on canvas, each 40 × 30 in., From the series Black Compositional Thought: 15 Paintings for the Plantationocene, 2020

The following is an excerpt from the July/August edition of ARTFORUM.

Torkwase Dyson’s new series Black Compositional Thought: 15 Paintings for the Plantationocene, 2020, was organized into small groupings, with one standalone work, in her recent show of the same name. Within each piece, Dyson layered constellation-like white lines and minimalist black shapes over deep-black and blue washes. An abstract galaxy emerged from acrylic, charcoal, graphite, and ink.

In a particularly distinctive pair of works jointly titled Interstitial Being (Architecture and Flesh #13, 14) (all works 2020), deep-charcoal-colored washes with subtle blue undertones made up the backgrounds, while three large black forms slightly overlapped to create one collaged shape in the foregrounds. The shapes seemed to cover fine white lines that appeared briefly, like accents in Dyson’s vocabulary. Each individual shape was roughly triangular, but with rounded edges, resembling a boat’s sail. While one of the three forms on each canvas had a smooth finish, the remaining two were created from layers of thick black paint. The gallery lights, bouncing off the paintings, highlighted their rich textures and gave them a sheen evoking that of petroleum.

Read the full review at ARTFORUM.