The gallery presents an immersive exhibition by Lenka Clayton of sculptures, typewriter drawings, photographs, and videos that engage with everyday materials and situations, extending the familiar into realms of the poetic, the absurd, and the profound.
Catharine Clark Gallery opens its Spring 2019 program with "Won, Too, Free, For," the gallery’s debut solo exhibition with Lenka Clayton. Following Clayton’s acclaimed presentation at UNTITLED, Art San Francisco in January 2019, the gallery presents an immersive exhibition of sculptures, typewriter drawings, photographs, and videos that engage with everyday materials and situations, extending the familiar into realms of the poetic, the absurd, and the profound. Clayton’s “Typewriter Drawings” – illustrated works on paper entirely rendered with a portable 1957 Smith-Corona Skyriter typewriter – line the gallery’s walls in thematic groupings such as “Art World Drawings,” “Important Documents,” and “Pots.” Though playful and often humorous, Clayton’s drawings also reflect an extraordinary facility with rendering, driven by a restless and incisive inquisitiveness about how we collectively document and catalogue the world around us.
Clayton notes that “for seven years, the typewriter has been central to my process and ideas, with many approaches and curiosities first appearing as drawings.” For her, the typewriter drawings are both documents of her intellectual and formal enquiries, and blueprints for sculptural works: “As ideas often come off the page, they lead to other works – and sometimes return to their original form – as they oscillate between two and three dimensions.” A drawing that depicts a vanished magician’s assistant, for example, inspires a changing installation of “vanishing” wands that magically transform from oversized (four feet wide) to miniscule (1/2” wide); while an Anni Albers-designed geometric pattern, first rendered on a typewriter, is “printed” with the same typewriter on a button-up oxford shirt, an act of translation that considers “the relationship between the hand-made and the machine-made by misusing a machine designed to accomplish one kind of task, to achieve another for which it is quite unsuited.”