Lenka Clayton

Lenka Clayton: Object Temporarily Removed
Lenka Clayton, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Sculpture for the Blind, by the Blind (detail), 2017. Plaster, linen, wood, Braille sign, mounted digital photograph, portfolio of photographs. Dimensions variable. Sculptures for the Blind made by Angela Carr, Sarah Lewis, Arnold Mack, Monae Keller, Angel Miranda, Ethan Ruddell, Robert Sulkin, David Stephens, Brysheen Payne, Jessica Bobo, Rhonda Gray-Upsey, Ashlee Preston, Pamela Howell, Joey (Marques) Perez, Ronald Bryant, Frank Madison, Gabby Zachwieja. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

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 in March 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, the artist 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. In 2012, Clayton founded An Artist Residency in Motherhood—a structured, fully-funded artist residency taking place inside her own home and life as a mother of two young children. She now offers the residency as an open-source framework to anyone to implement in their own homes and lives as parents and artists. There are currently hundreds of registered artists-in-residence on six continents.

Artist Bio

Lenka Clayton (British-American, born 1977) received an MA in Documentary Direction from the National Film & Television School in 2006, UK and a BA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins, London in 1999. Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; FRAC Le Plateau, Paris; Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria; and the Iran International Documentary Festival. Clayton collaborated with artist Jon Rubin on a major project, …circle through New York, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which debuted in March 2017. In 2012, Clayton founded An Artist Residency in Motherhood. In 2008, she was awarded the Theodore Randall International Chair at Alfred University in New York. Her awards include a Creative Development Grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and a Carol R. Brown Award for Creative Achievement.