Lenka Clayton—Comedy Plus Tragedy
Lenka Clayton (b. 1977), a British-American conceptual artist based in Pittsburgh, has committed her work, whether sculpture, drawings, video, or performance, to uncovering hidden truths about everyday life. One of Clayton’s methods is exploring museum collections and their histories.
For this 75th anniversary exhibition, Clayton has selected individual objects that once amazed Joseph Allen Skinner and has reactivated them for a 21st-century audience. Through her incisive reinterpretation—including new titles, shifts in context, and material juxtapositions—Clayton renders each object anew, most likely in ways that Skinner never intended. She has found both comedy and tragedy through varied and unusual objects that reveal the idiosyncratic and fascinating collection of the Skinner Museum. Unearthing witty and stark truths, Clayton guides us to unexpected places.
This exhibition is made possible by the Susan B. Weatherbie Exhibition Fund and the Leon Levy Foundation.
Events And Links
MHCAM celebrates the landmark bequest of the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum to the College in 1946 with back-to-back solo exhibitions: Lenka Clayton—Comedy Plus Tragedy (September 28, 2021 through May 29, 2022) and vanessa german—THE RAREST BLACK WOMAN ON THE PLANET EARTH (October 13, 2022 through May 28, 2023; previews began September 2, 2022).
vanessa german* (b. 1976) is an artist, activist, performer, and poet. THE RAREST BLACK WOMAN ON THE PLANET EARTH is german’s response to the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, an early 20th-century cabinet of curiosities at Mount Holyoke. For the exhibition, german began with a question: "...