Byron Kim was born in 1961 in San Diego, CA. He is currently a Senior Critic at Yale University. He received a BA from Yale University in 1983 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1986. 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), and the Alpert Award in the Arts (2008). Kim’s signature work “Synecdoche” started in 1991 and exhibited in the Whitney Biennial in 1993, is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery in Washington, DC. This ongoing series consists of a grid of hundreds of small panels that each match the color of a person’s skin. It is both a portrait of people in the artist’s life and an exploration of race and community. His works are in the permanent collections of the numerous museums of establishment worldwide.
During the time of this interview, Kim is an artist-in-residence at Rice University’s Moody Center for the Art during spring 2021, and one of the six artists in the exhibition, “Artists and the Rothko Chapel: 50 Years of Inspiration,” curated by Dr. Frauke Josenhans.