Clifford Owens

In Residence: Sep 12 – Nov 19, 2018

Exhibition: Nov 15, 2018 – Jan 13, 2019

What was your process for creating the photographs in your exhibition?

My practice is about the experience of making art rather than a process of making art. A process-based practice is more concerned with the cultivation of a style than the content and context of a work of art. Beauty is about style, but beauty is never enough and it means nothing in a work of art.

How did you choose the images for this exhibition?

“Peripatetic” is a project in four parts: “Photographs with an Audience: San Antonio,” a suite of thirteen color photographs, a suite of works on paper, and “A Salon for Performance Art.”
I edited hundreds of medium-format, film photographs into a suite of thirteen images that I made between July 2017 and July 2018. A photograph is a text. The photographs installed at Artpace are a discursive text authored by a peripatetic artist. I made roughly forty works on paper in my studio at Artpace, of which fourteen are included in the exhibition (I destroyed the other works).

For the images from Photographs with an Audience: San Antonio, do you want people to know the story behind each image?

No. I’m not interested in the viewer knowing the narrative behind each photograph. The titles of the photographs may offer the viewer some sense of context, but I think it’s important for artists to withhold explaining every detail of their practice. The tension in “Photographs with an Audience: San Antonio” is between the experience of the audience that was present for and engaged with the live performance and photographic representations of that experience as discreet art objects for passive contemplation in a gallery/museum context.

Tell us about the works on paper and how they relate to the other pieces in the exhibition. Why choose drawing instead of photographs?

The works on paper and the photographs are distinct bodies of work that don’t overlap with or relate to each other. Photographs are “original copies” and drawings are singular, unique forms of expression.

You frequently attach the names of places where performances took place to a body of work. What’s important for you about specifying the location?

“Photographs with an Audience: San Antonio” is the eighth iteration of the project in the past decade. It’s important to distinguish each iteration by location because it imparts a particular context for the content of the photographs. For example, “Photographs with an Audience: San Antonio (Ted Cruz)” is more pertinent to Texans than “Photographs with an Audience: Manchester (Tories).” In both instances there is no audience present is the photographs, which perhaps signifies the global intolerance for far-right racist, xenophobic, misogynist politicians who intend to annihilate democracy and oppress women and people of color.

Download PDF of Gallery Notes for Peripatetic


Clifford Owens

New York, New York, USA

Clifford Owens’ art has appeared in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His solo exhibitions include “Anthology: Clifford Owens” Museum of Modern Art PS1 (2011-2012), “Better the Rebel You Know” Home, Manchester, England (2014), and “Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens” Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (2011). His many group exhibitions include, “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art” Contemporary Arts Museum (2012 – 2014), “Greater New York 2005” Museum of Modern Art PS1 (2005), “Freestyle” The Studio Museum in Harlem (2001), and “Performance Now” (2013 – 2014).
He studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rutgers University, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has received numerous grants and fellowships including the William H. Johnson Prize, the Art Matters Grant, the Louis Tiffany Comfort Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, the New York Community Trust, the Lambent Foundation, and the Rutgers University Ralph Bunche Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Publications, reviews, and interviews about his work include New York Times, Art +Auction, Village Voice, Modern Painters, Art in America, Art Forum, The New Yorker, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, The Drama Review, Greater New York 2005, Performa: New Visual Art Performance, Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education, and Why Art Photography? He has written for exhibition catalogues, the New York Times, Art Forum, and Performing Arts Journal. His project “Anthology” is the subject of his first book.
He has been visiting artist faculty and guest critic at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Yale University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Princeton University, New York University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has been an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2005-2006), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2004), Pioneer Works (2014), and Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program (2016-2017).
He lives and works in New York City and he is represented by INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, located in New York City.
Photo by Mat Jinks

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Morgan Quaintance

London, England

Morgan Quaintance is a London-based writer, musician, broadcaster and curator. Born in South London, he is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, and has written for The Guardian, The Wire, Art Review, Frieze,, and a number of curatorial sites and blogs. He is a contributing editor for E-Flux’s online publishing portal Art Agenda, is a founding member of the curatorial collective DAM PROJECTS, and was the 2015/16 curatorial fellow at Cubitt Gallery, London. As a presenter he has worked with the BBC, Channel Four, Artfund, the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and Roundhouse, and is also the producer of Studio Visit, a monthly hour-long interviews-based program, broadcast on London’s Resonance 104.4 FM, featuring international contemporary artists as guests.

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