Past Artist talk

Artist Talk: Kyrae Dawaun

Thursday, January 4, 2024. 6-7pm

Virtual program

Kyrae Dawaun, Coil (a gathering) (2023), wood, gypsum, cement, ceramic tile, and grapeseed black, 7 3/4 × 24 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches. Photo: Vivian Marie Doering

Join 2021-2023 Hamiltonian Artists Fellow Kyrae Dawaun in conversation with Hamiltonian Fellowship Manager Anisa Olufemi, as they discuss Dawaun’s solo exhibition The Irony of Capacity: A Dark, Black Comedy.


Kyrae Dawaun, born in Queens, NY, transplanted onto Baltimore, MD, then Washington, DC. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2013, later a Master of Fine Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2022. He manages his studio practice between Baltimore and D.C. Dawaun has been invited to work, reside, and exhibit in Los Angeles, Italy, Toronto, and Berlin. In 2016, Pyramid Atlantic hosted him as a Denbo Fellow, awarded an Arts and Humanities Fellowship with DC Commission on Arts and Humanities (2017). Recent exhibitions include, New Waves at Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Hampton Roads (2020), In-Practice at Sculpture Center in Long Island City (2021,) Cursing the Very God at MOCA Arlington (2022),”Doing the Work” at the Kreeger Museum (2023), and “A Red Fare” part of the Sondheim Prize Finalist Exhibition (2023). Kyrae Dawaun is a 2021–2023 Hamiltonian Artists Fellow.


Kyrae Dawaun’s solo exhibition The Irony of Capacity: A Dark, Black Comedy is his play on the realist tradition. Dawaun’s latest body of work offers an array of quotidian abstractions in sculpture, and trials of look-alike jokes via portraiture. In Dawaun’s paintings, celebrities and pop culture icons are rendered through a lens of the mundane. Sculptural prompts and domestic fixtures set the stage for the familiar figures. From residues of spring cherries to reliquaries of grapeseed reduction, Dawaun’s series of organic seasonal sculptures demonstrate black as rich in color and complex in form.