Lenka Clayton’s typewriter drawing, Plate (2015), in process. Image courtesy of the artist. © 2015 Lenka Clayton.
Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present testsite 15.3: Lenka Clayton & Veronica Roberts: TYPEWRITER DRAWINGS, an installation of works on paper by British-born, Pittsburgh-based artist Lenka Clayton. Curated by Veronica Roberts, this is Clayton’s first exhibition in Texas. The project opens on Sunday, October 11 with a public reception from 4 to 6pm, and a conversation between the artist and the curator at 4:30pm.
This intimate installation features approximately twenty-six drawings as well as one work on cloth. Since 2012 Lenka Clayton has been using a typewriter as a tool for drawing, and at the same time as an obstruction to drawing. Her ongoing series, Typewriter Drawings, misuses a machine designed to effortlessly accomplish one kind of task to achieve another for which it is quite unsuited. The drawings act as a diary of sorts, depicting objects or moments that happened over the course of a day, or that appeared as fleeting visions while the artist went about other quotidian tasks. Additionally, every November she and a collaborator—the writer and artist Michael Crowe—each make concurrent drawings on their typewriters (he in London, UK; she in Pittsburgh, USA). A selection of the artists’ paired drawings will be exhibited in the dining room at testsite during this presentation.
The presentation will also include Hand-Typed Polka-Dot Shirt, 2015. The button-down shirt—originally manufactured by an anonymous garment worker—was disassembled at the seams into twenty-one component parts and each piece run through a typewriter. The ‘period’ key was pressed over 20,000 times to create a polka-dot pattern, hand-typed directly onto the fabric. Once printed, the pieces were hand-sewn back together. At first glance, the pattern may appear industrially printed, yet on closer inspection mistakes can be glimpsed, such as an accidental “m” marking, or a misaligned row. Together, the typewriter drawings and shirt illuminate Clayton’s ability to find new and inventive ways to make art using very old tools.