Lenka Clayton

Lenka Clayton


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Lenka Clayton meeting the mayor and townspeople of Lenka, a small village of 202 people in Slovakia, 2008 (detail). Image courtesy of the artist.

About the Artist

Lenka Clayton is an interdisciplinary artist whose work considers, exaggerates, and alters the accepted rules of everyday life, extending the familiar into the realms of the poetic and absurd.

In previous works, she has searched for and photographed every person mentioned by name in a German newspaper; worked with artists who identify as blind to recreate Brancusi’s Sculpture for the Blind from a spoken description; and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch found in an archive.

Clayton is the founder of An Artist Residency in Motherhood, a self-directed, open-source artist residency program that takes place inside the homes and lives of artists who are also parents. There are currently over 1,000 artists-in-residence in 62 countries.

Recent exhibitions include Fruit and Other Things (2019) at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Object Temporarily Removed (2017) at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Apollo’s Muse (2019) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY and The Grand Illusion, at the Lyon Biennial, France (2020). In 2017 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum commissioned a major new work by Clayton and collaborator Jon Rubin, entitled A talking parrot, a high school drama class, a Punjabi TV show, the oldest song in the world, a museum artwork, and a congregation’s call to action circle through New York. With the participation of six diverse venues around New York City, the artists arranged for an essential element from each site—referenced in the project’s title—to circulate from one place to the next, creating a six-month network of social and material exchange.

Clayton’s work has been supported by The Warhol Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. She has received an Art Matters Award, a Carol R. Brown Award for Creative Achievement, and a Creative Development Grant from Heinz/Pittsburgh Foundation. She has been artist-in-residence at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, PA and Headlands Center for the Arts, CA. Clayton’s work is held in collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, SFMoMA in California, Hamburger Kunsthalle and The Carnegie Museum of Art and The Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. Along with collaborator and husband Phillip Andrew Lewis she is currently a Sabrina Merage Fellow with Black Cube, a nomadic contemporary art museum.

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