Working between abstraction and representation, artist Byron Kim (b. 1961) starts many of his paintings with careful observations of the natural world, depicting a range of subjects from the daytime sky to human skin tones. Kim’s paintings are produced in a multi-stage process that involves dyeing the canvas with natural materials including indigo and ochre, and applying pigment with rags rather than a brush. Innocence over Blue, pictured above, is part of a series of works inspired by the poetry of Carl Phillips, an award-winning poet and professor at Washington University in St. Louis. His poem, “Alba: Innocence,” describes the experience of encountering a bruise on a lover’s flesh. While Kim acknowledges the association between bruising and trauma, he also considers bruises a sign of healing or repair.

Join us for Library Sessions: Carl Phillips and Byron Kim on Friday, September 8 from 7–9pm where Phillips and Kim will continue the conversation begun between their artistic practices. In addition, they will discuss their work and explore their multidisciplinary contributions to the Blue Black Library.