Cosmo Whyte

Artadia Awardee

“Cosmo Whyte’s work is powerfully resonant with the legacy of colonialism and the present urgency of forced migration. His work engages these issues through both the direct confrontation of his interdisciplinary practice and the subtle parsing of his drawings.” Juror Katherine Jentleson, Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, High Museum of Art

Cosmo Whyte (b.) 1982, Jamaica, attended Bennington College in Vermont for his BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art for his Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and the University of Michigan for his MFA.

Whyte has exhibited his works in the United States, Jamaica, Norway, England, France, and South Africa. His most recent exhibitions of note include Beneath Its Tongue, the Fish Rolls the Hook to Sharpen Its Cadence, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta (2019); Get Up Stand Up The Summerset House, London, UK (2019); Intermittent Rivers, 13th Havana Biennial Matanzas, Cuba (2019); Of Drawings and Belonging” at The High Museum, Atlanta (2019); the Jamaica Biennial (2017) and Atlanta Biennial, Atlanta Contemporary (2016).

Whyte has been the recipient of the Art Matters Award (2019) and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2019), the Working Artist Award (2018), The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions Fellowship (2018), Artadia Award (2016), the International Sculpture Center’s “Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award” (2015) and the Edge Award (2010).

Cosmo Whyte is based in Atlanta, Georgia and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“I am a trans-disciplinary artist who employs drawing, performance, and sculpture to create conceptual work that explores how notions of identity are disrupted by migration—particularly migration as an unfinished arc of motion whose final resting point remains an open-ended question. I situate my work in the liminal space between early culture shock and final acclimatization. My creative process begins through the interrogation of my own (racialized as black, gendered as man) body, and the personal memories that are embedded within it. I use this archive as my entry point into collective political interrogations.”