Byron Kim ’83 Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, Byron Kim ’83, senior critic at the Yale School of Art, has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. YaleNews outlines his career, “Kim received a B.A. in English from Yale College in 1983 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1986. His work balances abstraction and representation, and conceptualism and pure painting.  He 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 common place.”

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation describes its rigorous process of selecting each year’s Fellows, “Applicants will first be pooled with others working in the same field, and examined by experts in that field: the work of artists will be reviewed by artists, that of scientists by scientists, that of historians by historians, and so on. The Foundation has a network of several hundred advisers, who either meet at the Foundation offices to look at applicants’ work, or receive application materials to read offsite. These advisers, all of whom are themselves former Guggenheim Fellows, then submit reports critiquing and ranking the applications in their respective fields. Their recommendations are then forwarded to and weighed by a Committee of Selection, which then determines the number of awards to be made in each area. Occasionally, no application in a given area is considered strong enough to merit a Fellowship.”