The New Social Environment#513

Color Out of Darkness: Ad Reinhardt curated by James Turrell

Featuring Torkwase Dyson, Matthew Simms, Alex Bacon, and Phyllis Tuchman


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Torkwase Dyson and art historian Matthew Simms join Rail contributor Alex Bacon and Rail Editor-at-Large join for a discussion on the current Ad Reinhardt exhibition curated by James Turrell. We conclude with a poetry reading by Mark Wallace.

In this talk

Visit Ad Reinhardt: Color Out of Darkness, Curated by James Turrell, on view at Pace Gallery through March 19, 2022 →

View the Rail’s special centennial issue on Ad Reinhardt published in 2013 →

Torkwase Dyson

A photo of Torkwase Dyson
Torkwase Dyson
A painter whose compositions address the continuity of movement, climate change, infrastructure, and architecture, Torkwase Dyson grapples with ways space is perceived and negotiated by black and brown bodies. These subjects produce abstractions that explore the history and future of black spatial liberation strategies and environmental racism. Explorations of how the body unifies, balances, and arranges itself to move through environments become expressive and discursive structures within her work. Dyson builds the paintings slowly, accumulating washes and configuring geometric elements through improvisation and reflection. The subtle use of atmospheric color, lines, and scale in the paintings invites the eye to consider the conceptual and corporeal knowledge of space in real time.

Matthew Simms

Photo of Matthew Simms.
Professor of art history at California State Long Beach Matthew Simms is a specialist in European and North American Art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with additional expertise in post-war California art. He has published widely on French modern art, from Antoine-Louis Barye to Paul Cézanne, and more recently on the art and careers of Southern California artists Robert Irwin, Helen Pashgian, and Ed Bereal. Dr. Simms also holds the position of Gerald and Bente Buck West Coast Collector for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. He has collected the papers of, among other artists, Ronald Davis, Ilene Segalove, Consuelo Jimenez Underwood, Eduardo Carrillo, Tony DeLap, Charles Arnoldi, Chiura Obata, Tom Marioni, Roland Reiss, and Masami Teraoka.

Alex Bacon

Photo of Alex Bacon.
Curatorial Associate at the Princeton University Art Museum Alex Bacon is an art historian based in New York City who regularly writes criticism and organizes exhibitions of both contemporary and historical art. Bacon is co-editor, with Hal Foster, of a collection of essays on Richard Hamilton (MIT Press, 2010), as well as the author of texts in various exhibition catalogs and edited volumes. He has taught at the School of Visual Arts, and has served as a guest critic in the graduate painting departments of the Rhode Island School of Design and AKV/St. Joost. He is currently completing his PhD in art history at Princeton, with a dissertation on the first decade of Frank Stella’s career.

Phyllis Tuchman

Phyllis Tuchman
Critic and art historian Phyllis Tuchman teaches and writes about art, particularly sculpture. She has taught at Williams College, Hunter College, and the School of Visual Arts. She is an Editor-at-Large for the Brooklyn Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Mark Wallace reading.

Mark Wallace

A portrait of poet Mark Wallace.
Poet Mark Wallace lives in San Diego, where since 2005 he has been working on a multi-part long poem exploring the psychogeography of southern California, The End of America. He is the author of many other books of poetry, most recently Notes from the Center on Public Policy (2014), and several works of fiction, including the novels Crab (2017) and The Quarry and the Lot (2011).

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.