Byron Kim

Photo of Byron Kim

Artist and senior critic, Yale School of Art

Byron Kim (b. 1961, La Jolla, CA, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is an artist and senior critic at Yale School of Art.  Kim often works in an area one might call the ‘abstract sublime.’ His work sits at the threshold of abstraction and representation, between conceptualism and pure painting. Kim’s best known piece, Synecdoche, was included in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Comprising a grid of hundreds of panels depicting human skin color, the painting is both an abstract monochrome 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. Among Kim’s numerous awards are the Guggenheim Fellowship (2017), the Alpert Award in the Arts (2008), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997), the National Endowment of the Arts Award (1995), the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant (1994), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1994), and the Louise Nevelson Award in Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY (1993). He holds a BA in English from Yale College (1983) and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1986).

Kim’s works are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Berkeley Art Museum, 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 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, MA.