20.03.2024 Press release

Hyundai Motor and Whitney Museum Unveil Inaugural Hyundai Terrace Commission by Torkwase Dyson

  • Hyundai Terrace Commission: Torkwase Dyson: Liquid Shadows, Solid Dreams (A Monastic Playground) to open on Whitney’s fifth-floor terrace from March 20 through early 2025
  • Hyundai Motor’s multiyear commitment for the Whitney Biennial and the Hyundai Terrace Commission supports Whitney’s vision to expand opportunities for artists and curators to experiment beyond boundaries and realize their visions

Press material

Hyundai Motor Company and the Whitney Museum of American Art today announced the opening of the inaugural Hyundai Terrace Commission, entitled Hyundai Terrace Commission: Torkwase Dyson: Liquid Shadows, Solid Dreams (A Monastic Playground). This groundbreaking work will be on view on the Whitney’s fifth-floor terrace from March 20, 2024, through early 2025, as a part of the 2024 Whitney Biennial.

The unveiling of Torkwase Dyson’s new work for the Hyundai Terrace Commission marks the beginning of a 10-year partnership between Hyundai Motor and the Whitney, announced earlier this year. Dyson presents an installation that is meant to be activated by visitors. Described by Dyson as a “monastic playground,” Hyundai Terrace Commission: Torkwase Dyson: Liquid Shadows, Solid Dreams (A Monastic Playground) invites visitors to touch, sit on, and experience the work in a tactile way. This prompt speaks to Dyson’s conviction that liberation can be found at every register of movement: “freedom is an ongoing spatial question of motion and imagination.”

Dyson composes geometries on an architectural scale using light and space as formal building blocks. Together, the monumental arcs, implied gestures, and surrounding natural light articulate changing abstract shapes over the course of each day and night. For Dyson, the intertwining of abstraction and Blackness is a central philosophical concern that came out of an interest in public infrastructure. The relationships between ecology, belonging, and personal history take on new meaning with the terrace’s view of the Hudson River and the museum’s location in one of New York City’s most vulnerable flood zones, along the West Side Highway and near the water’s edge.

We are delighted to have the unique opportunity that Hyundai Motor provides to realize the Hyundai Terrace Commission. Torkwase has created architectural sculptural paintings that speak to the cityscape around the Whitney, the river nearby, visible from the sculptures, and the terrace as a space for visitors to rest, spend time, and reflect. Viewers can look upwards at the sky and at the museum’s terraces above, as well as across into the city, in an expansive experience of space, volume, scale, and form that points to new possibilities in how we experience of the world.

Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli Whitney Biennial 2024 co-curators

By pushing the boundaries of forms, Torkwase Dyson's work explores our relationship to the environment. We are excited to see how Dyson’s installation for the inaugural Hyundai Terrace Commission inspires audiences to engage with the work and the surrounding environment beyond the terrace.

DooEun Choi Art Director of Hyundai Motor Company

The inaugural Hyundai Terrace Commission is being launched in line with Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better Than the Real Thing, which will be open from March 20 to August 11, 2024. The 2024 Biennial is a thematic exhibition focusing on ideas of “the real” to acknowledge that, today, society is at an inflection point, in part brought on by artificial intelligence challenging what we consider to be real, as well as critical discussions about identity. Many of the artists presenting works explore the fluidity of identity and form, historical and current land stewardship, and concepts of embodiment, among other urgent throughlines. More information about Whitney Biennial 2024 can be found here.


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