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.
Lenka Clayton grew up in Cornwall, United Kingdom, and is currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In previous work she has hand-numbered 7,000 stones, filmed a person of each age from 1 to 100 years old, and reconstituted a lost museum from a sketch on the back of an envelope. From 2012 to 2015, she was the world’s first Artist-in-Residence-in-Motherhood after founding a fully funded, structured artist residency that took place inside her home as a mother of two young children. She and artist Michael Crowe are currently endeavoring to write a unique, personal letter to every household in the world.
Lenka holds an MA in Documentary Direction from the National Film & Television School (Beaconsfield, U.K.) and a BA in Fine Art from Central St. Martins (London). Her work has been internationally exhibited, including at MoMA and Anthology Film Archives in New York City; Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; FRAC Le Plateau in Paris; Kunsthalle St. Gallen in Switzerland; at the Tehran International Documentary Festival; and after the evening news on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. Lenka has also been featured on PBS’ The Art Assignment hosted by curator Sarah Green. She is a recent recipient of a Heinz Endowments/Pittsburgh Foundation Creative Development Grant, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and a Carol R. Brown Award for Creative Achievement. She is currently artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. For more information: www.lenkaclayton.com.
Veronica Roberts is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum in Austin, Texas. She is currently preparing a mid-career survey of Nina Katchadourian, opening at the Blanton in spring 2017. Her most recent exhibition, Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt is touring to the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA (fall 2015) and Cleveland Museum of Art (Spring 2016) after opening at the Blanton in 2014. Prior to working at the Blanton, she held curatorial positions at the Museum of Modern Art, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. She received her MA in the history of art and architecture from UC Santa Barbara and her BA in art history from Williams College.
Opening reception at testsite: Sunday, October 11, 4-6pm, with an artist talk at 4:30pm. Exhibition on view through December 6.
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