Torkwase Dyson (BFA ’99) recognized by Wein Prize, Anonymous Was a Woman

Painting + Printmaking alumna Torkwase Dyson (BFA ’99) recently received a $25,000 award from Anonymous Was a Woman, and a $50,000 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize from the Studio Museum in Harlem, N.Y.

Though she works in multiple mediums, Dyson describes herself as a painter whose compositions address the continuity of movement, climate change, infrastructure and architecture. For Dyson, these subjects in relationship to each other produce abstractions that explore the history and future of black spatial liberation and environmental exploitation. Dyson exhibited the solo show 1919: Black Water at Columbia University’s Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery this fall and participated in the Whitney Biennial earlier this year.

Anonymous Was A Woman is awarded each year to 10 woman-identifying artists over the age of 40 who have made significant contributions in their fields and continue to create new work. This year’s winners were chosen from among a competitive pool of applicants recommended by a group of distinguished art historians, curators, writers and artists who serve as anonymous nominators. The 2019 recipients range in age from 45 to 84 and work in mediums including painting, installation, performance, photography and film. The unrestricted $25,000 grant is intended to provide them the freedom to continue developing their creative vision.

The Wein Prize is one of the most significant awards given to individual artists working in the U.S. today. The $50,000 award recognizes and honors the artistic achievements of an African American artist who demonstrates great innovation, promise and creativity.

In statement from the Studio Museum, Dyson says, “As I go about the world trying to make art work for us, this strengthens my commitment to black spatial justice. I’m so excited for this new sense of belonging.”

Image credit: Gabe Souza