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Artist Talk: Byron Kim

Three painted panels of different flesh-colored hues hang side-by-side

In conjunction with Monochrome Multitudes, the Smart Museum of Art and University of Chicago partners present a quarter-long artist talk series.

Join Byron Kim and other exhibiting artists as they consider the rich and sometimes idiosyncratic references and resonances in their own work, while also speaking to the histories of the monochrome and abstraction broadly conceived.

FREE, but space is limited. Advanced registration encouraged »


Byron Kim received a B.A. from Yale University in 1983 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1986. Kim’s formal paintings double as portraits and landscape paintings, utilizing the languages of formal abstraction, observational paintings, and conceptual art. His well-known Synecdoche series (1991–present) is a group portrait composed of hundreds of 10 x 8 in panels, each painted to match the skin tone of a sitter. Four panels from Synecdoche are on display in Monochrome Multitudes. His work is in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Berkeley Art Museum; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica; the Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Worcester Art Museum



Support for the Monochrome Multitudes artist lecture series has been provided by the Goethe-Institut and the following University of Chicago partners: Center for East Asian Studies, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for the Art of East Asia, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Department of Art History, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, Open Practice Committee in the Department of Visual Arts, and Wigeland Fund in the Division of the Humanities.

Logo for Goethe-Institut

Image: Byron Kim, installation detail from the series Synecdoche, 1992, Oil and wax on lauan plywood, birch plywood, and plywood. Collection of Helyn Goldenberg and Michael Alper. Photo by Claire Rich.