Alex Katz Chair in Painting (Fall 2018)
Byron Kim, born in 1961 in La Jolla, CA, is a Senior Critic at Yale School of Art and lives in Brooklyn, NY. He received a BA in English from Yale College in 1983 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1986. Kim is best known for his painting, Synecdoche, which was included in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Comprised of a grid of hundreds of panels depicting human skin color, the work is both an abstract painting in monochromes and a group portrait. His ongoing series of Sunday Paintings, in which he records the appearance of the sky every week along with a diary entry, juxtaposes the cosmological with the quotidian.
Kim often works in an area one might call the abstract sublime. His work sits at the threshold between abstraction and representation, between conceptualism and pure painting. Kim’s paintings often appear to be pure abstractions, but upon investigation, they reveal a charged space that often connects to the artist’s personal experiences in relation to larger cultural forces. Among Kim’s numerous awards are the Louise Nevelson Award in Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY (1993), the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1994), the National Endowment of the Arts Award (1995), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2008) and the Guggenheim Fellowship (2017)
His works are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; the M+ Museum, Hong Kong; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica, CA; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, CT; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.