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In Conversation: Torkwase Dyson

23 February 2021


The Royal College of Art, MA Painting hosts this 'In Conversation' event with artist Torkwase Dyson as part of WiP2021.

The RCA Painting Department invites you to a conversation between Torkwase Dyson and Alexandria Smith inspired by themes present in the Works in Progress Show such as experimentation, vulnerability and how the concept of works in progress are addressed in an art and curatorial process.

Examining environmental racism as well as the history and future of black spatial liberation strategies, Torkwase 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.

Alexandria Smith is a mixed media visual artist based in London and New York. She earned her BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University; MA in Art Education from New York University; and MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2018-2019 Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Fellowship, the Virginia A. Myers Fellowship at the University of Iowa and the Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. She has been awarded residencies including MacDowell, Bemis, Yaddo and LMCC Process Space. Alexandria is currently Head of Programme, Painting at the Royal College of Art.

Smith’s recent exhibitions include her first solo museum exhibit, Monuments to an Effigy at the Queens Museum in NYC; a solo exhibition, In Praise of Shadows at Anna Zorina Gallery in NYC; a site-specific commission for The deCordova Biennial at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum and a site-specific commission for the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. She was also included in a major painting survey exhibition at Mass MoCA entitled The Lure of the Dark: Contemporary Painters Conjure the Night. Alexandria has a forthcoming solo exhibition and site-specific commission at the Currier Museum (Manchester, NH) entitled, Memoirs of a Ghost Girlhood: a Black Girl’s Window in July 2021.

Registration essential.

The event will be held via Zoom Webinar. Please note the link and password will be sent to attendees via email.

Zoom is a free online App which can be downloaded to your computer/laptop, phone or tablet via

About WiP2021

This event is part of WiP2021. The RCA’s annual Work in Progress Show is an opportunity for the public to engage with the current and ongoing work of first year MA students across the College. Students share a glimpse into their working methods and thinking processes by presenting online content ranging from sketches, plans, and research, to artworks in various states of experimentation and completion.