Lenka Clayton is a British 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.
For her residency at FWM, Clayton looked to iconic, historical works of art as the starting point for a new artistic inquiry. While in Philadelphia, the artist was intrigued by Constantin Brancusi’s Sculpture for the Blind in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and developed two new works in response. She collaborated with Philadelphia’s blind community and solicited international arts professionals for replies to an unanswered letter found in the PMA’s archives. Clayton’s FWM project debuted on Friday, March 17, 2017.
Clayton and collaborator Jon Rubin opened a second major new project in March 2017, …circle through New York, commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and funded by the Rothschild Foundation as part of the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative. The project took place consecutively at the Guggenheim Museum and five other locations in a circle throughout the city.
In previous works, Clayton has hand-numbered 7,000 stones; searched for all 613 people mentioned in a single edition of a German newspaper; filmed one person of each age from 1 to 100, and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch on the back of an envelope. Clayton and writer Michael Crowe are currently writing a unique, personal letter to every household in the world.
In 2012, Clayton founded An Artist Residency in Motherhood—a structured, fully-funded artist residency that takes place inside her own home and life as a mother of two young children. She now oversees a public, open-source version of the work that has 275 registered current “artists-in-residence-in-motherhood” in 31 countries.