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Lenka Clayton—Comedy Plus Tragedy

September 28, 2021 Through June 26, 2022
In the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Gallery

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.