1988 Born Los Angeles (CA), USA
2007 BFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (IL), USA

MFA, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (NY), USA

Solo Exhibitions


Big Surprise, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York (NY)

Grand Calme, Sadie Coles HQ, London

Graham Fellowship, Graham Foundation, Chicago (IL), USA

Contemporary Projects: Martine Syms, Serralves Foundation, Porto, Portugal


Projects 106: Martine Syms, Museum of Modern Art, New York (NY)

VNXXCAS: Martine Syms, Camden Arts Centre, London

The Easy Demands, CONDO: Bridget Donahue hosted by Sadie Coles HQ, London


Borrowed Lady, Audain Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Fact & Trouble, Institute of Contemporary Art, London

COM PORT MENT, Karma International, Beverly Hills (CA), USA

Martine Syms: Black Box, Human Resources, Los Angeles (CA), USA


Art on the Move: Martine Syms curated by Franklin Sirmans, Locust Projects, Miami (FL), USA

Notes On Gesture, Machine Project, Los Angeles, (CA), USA

Vertical Elevated Oblique, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York (NY)

Martine Syms, White Flag Projects, St. Louis (MO), USA


The Queen’s English, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (CA), USA

Selected Group Exhibitions


The Body Electric, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis (MN), USA


An Evening of Queen White, Toby Devan Lewis Gallery, Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Cleveland (OH), USA

Unlimited, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland

This is Utopia, to Some, Kadist Foundation, Paris

A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part 1), Gordon Robichaux, New York (NY)

Mapping the Invisible, Yebisu International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions 2018, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo

Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, ICA Boston, Boston (MA), USA

Radically Ordinary: Scenes form Black Life in America Since 1968, Allen Memorial Art Museum,

Oberlin (OH), USA

The Gallery, Michael’s, Santa Monica (CA), USA

A Lone, Installed adjacent to Capitol Hill Link rail station within city-wide project, Seattle (WA), USA


.COM/.CN, presented by K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong

Speech/Acts, ICA Philadelphia (PA), USA

At This Stage, Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles (LA), USA

56 Artillery Lane, Raven Row, London

Exhibition of 21 Artists Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2017, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine

Commercial Break, Public Art Fund, New York (NY) 

I Am the Organizer of My Own Archive, Dazibao, Montreal, Canada

The Love Object (organized by Tom Brewer), Team Gallery, New York (NY)

Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon

The Public Body, Artspace, Sydney, Australia

Analog Currency, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2017, organised by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice, Italy

That I am reading backwards and into for a purpose, to go on:, The Kitchen, New York (NY)

What does one do with such a clairvoyant image?, Trinity Square Video, Toronto, Canada

Our Words Return in Patterns (Part 1), Galerie PCP, Paris

Whitney Biennal, as part of the John Riepenhoff installation, Whitney Museum, New York (NY)


Potentially Yours, The Coming Community, Artspace NZ, Auckland, New Zealand

Los Angeles - A Fiction, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway; traveling to Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France

Umwelt Inversion, Galerie Conradi, Hamburg, Germany

Down To Write You This Poem Sat, Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada

Cool Memories, Occidental Temporary, Paris, France

Public, Private, Secret, International Center of Photography, New York (NY)

Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (CA), USA

It Can Howl, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta (GA), USA

Imitation of Life: Melodrama and Race in the 21st Century, HOME, Manchester, UK

Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), Whitechapel Gallery, London

Autobiography, Index Stockholm- The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm

Cut-Up: Contemporary Collage and Cut-Up Histories through a Feminist Lens, Franklin Street Works, Stamford (CT), USA


How We Work, Project Row Houses, Houston (TX), USA

Open House, Todd Madigan Gallery, California State University, Bakersfield (CA), USA

Tele-novela, ACRE TV, acretv.org

Candice Lin/Martine Syms, Chan Gallery, Pomona College, Claremont (CA), USA

Artists’ Film Club: Avant-Noir, Volume 2, Institute of Contemporary Art London, London

The Daily Show, Bureau, New York (NY)

Intangibles, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (MN), USA

2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York (NY)


Rhetoric, Aran Cravey, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (NY)

First Look: Martine Syms: Reading Trayvon Martin, New Museum, New York (NY)

Another Cats Show, 356 Mission, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Small New Films, REDCAT, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Black Radical Imagination, Cooper Union, New York (NY)


gURLs, Transfer Gallery, Brooklyn (NY)

Science Fiction & What It Feels Like To (Already) Live In the Future, Actual Size, Los Angeles (CA), USA


Act II: The Props, Public Fiction, Los Angeles (CA), USA

First Among Equals, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (PA), USA

How to Download a Boyfriend, Badlands Unlimited, Apple iTunes

The Didactic Possibilities of Film Titles, Acid Rain TV, New York (NY)

Mise-En-Scéne, Young Art, Los Angeles (CA), USA


Museum as Hub: Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet, New Museum, New York (NY)

We Are Here: Art & Design Out of Context, MCA Chicago, Chicago (IL), USA

Three Card Monte, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee (WI), USA

Film Screenings


Incense, Sweaters & Ice, Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Cleveland (OH), USA

Martine Syms: Incense, Sweaters & Ice, Tramway, Glasgow Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

In the (Commercial) Break / Screening and Conversation with Martine Syms, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Kadist, Paris

X-tra Presents Artist Writes #3: Incense, Sweaters and Ice, screening and conversation, 356 Mission Road, Los Angeles (CA), USA

2017  Artists’ Film Club: Incense Sweaters & Ice, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London

A Pilot for a Show About Nowhere screening in Wild Sounds, Flaherty NYC series, Anthology Film Archives, New York (NY)

My Only Idol Is Reality screening in Truth or Dare? Experimental Cinema and the Documentary Turn, 1984 - 2016, Indigo Festival, City Museum of Ljublijana, Ljublijana

From Mouth to Hand, Magic Lantern Cinema, Brown University, Providence (RI), USA

A Pilot for a Show About Nowhere online with Vdrome, #94

Memory Palace, screening in Intimacies, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago (IL), USA

Martine Syms and Khalil Joseph, Memory Palace screening online in Open Window, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (CA), USA 


Enter/Exit, a group screening and lecture by Steven Cairns, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Germany

The Unreliable Narrator, screening in Conversations at the Edge Fall 2015, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago (IL), USA

Lectures and Conferences


March Meeting 2018: Active Forms, Sharjah Art Foundation, Shuwaihen, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Experience It: Martine Syms, A conversation with Martine Syms, Sharon Hayes and Jon Rafman, The Lab with California College of the Arts, San Francisco (CA), USA

2017  Lounge Talk, Yebisu International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions, Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Tokyo

Martine Syms and Rizvana Bradley in conversation, Raven Row, London


Friday Flights at the Getty, Getty Center, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Martine Syms, Todd Madigan Gallery & Department of Art at California State University, Bakersfield (CA), USA

Tip of Her Tongue: Martine Syms ‘Misdirected Kiss’, The Oculus Hall at The Broad, Los Angeles (CA), USA


A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere, PNCA Mediatheque, Portland (OR), USA

Seven on Seven, 7th Edition: Empathy & Disgust, Rhizome, New York (NY)

Lessons of the Tradition, California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach (CA), USA

Quality Television, Light Industry, New York (NY)

Lessons of the Tradition, Pomona College, Claremont (CA), USA

Nite Life, O, Miami Poetry Festival, Miami (FL), USA

In the Archives, Contemporary Artists Books, Los Angeles (CA), USA


Lessons of the Tradition, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (VA), USA

Black Radical Imagination II, REDCAT, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Black Vernacular: Lessons of the Tradition, London College of Communication, London

Do You Follow? Art in Circulation, Rhizome/Institute of Contemporary Art London, London Black Vernacular: Lessons of the Tradition, Oberlin College & Observatory, Oberlin (OH), USA

Most Days, Moogfest Biennial, Asheville (NC), USA

Black Vernacular, Insights 2014 Design Lecture Series, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (MN), USA

Direct Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis (MN), USA

Most Days, Arts Incubator, University of Chicago, Chicago (IL), USA

Direct Design, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Becoming Artists: Critique, Originality & Identity - Managing Biography: Negotiating Audience, Yale University, New Haven (CT), USA


New Paradigms in Digital Media ‘Mainstreaming’ a DIY Culture, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (MD), USA

Conceptual Entrepreneurism, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore (MD), USA

Black Vernacular: Reading New Media, SXSW, Austin (TX), USA


Real Talk, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (CA), USA

Reading Politics, Summer Forum, Chicago (IL), USA


The Didactic Possibilities of Film Titles, Houston Museum of African American Art, Houston (TX), USA

Artist/Authors, The Gregory School, Houston (TX), USA

Implications & Distinctions, Project Row Houses, Houston (TX), USA

Future Plan and Program - Lecture by Steffani Jemison and Martine Syms, Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View (TX), USA



Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (IL), USA

Guggenheim Museums and Foundation, New York (NY)

KADIST, Paris and San Francisco (CA), USA

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (CA), USA

Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection (JFABC), Chicago (IL), USA

Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, UK

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles (CA), USA

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York (NY)

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, (IL), USA

San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio (TX), USA

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (NY)