Martine Syms
Multidisciplinary Artist
Los Angeles, CA
2020 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Katie Weitz, PhD.

Martine Syms (born 1988, Los Angeles) uses video and performance to examine representations of blackness. Syms’ artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively, including presentations at the Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum, ICA London, New Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among other institutions. She has lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, and MoMA PS1, among other venues. Syms’ recently presented exhibitions include BOON, Secession; Shame Space, ICA Virginia Commonwealth University; Grand Calme, SCHQ; Big Surprise, Bridget Donahue Gallery; Contemporary Projects: Martine Syms, Serralves Museum; Projects 106: Martine Syms, Museum of Modern Art; Fact and Trouble, ICA London. From 2007-2011 she was the co-director of the Chicago artist run project space Golden Age, and she currently runs Dominica Publishing, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness in visual culture. She is the author of Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film (2011). Syms is a faculty member in the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.

Portrait photo by Hedi Slimane.
  • Artwork by Martine Syms
    Big Surprise, 2019. Interactive AI website for 4 monitors, scaleable wallpaper, digital prints on laser-cut acrylic, dimensions variable. Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York City. Photo by Gregory Carideo.
  • Artwork by Martine Syms
    Grand Calme, 2018. Interactive AI website, chairs, wall text and image, dimensions variable. Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo by Robert Glowacki.
  • Artwork by Martine Syms
    Incense, Sweaters, & Ice, 69 minute video. Part of the Projects 106: Martine Syms exhibition. Found posters overprinted with photographs; metal sculpture, dimensions variable. Photo by John Wonn.
Artwork by Martine Syms Artwork by Martine Syms Artwork by Martine Syms