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Lorenzo Clayton

Lorenzo Clayton

Lorenzo has works at both the Heard Museum in Phoenix and the at the University of Arizona's art museum in Tucson. He has exhibited in galleries in California, Canada and Switzerland. In 1999, Lorenzo was awarded a $20,000 fellowship from the Eitelijorg Museum of the American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. He was selected out of 100 Native Americans artists who were to use the award to further their talents by funding new projects. Lorenzo is Professor of Printmaking at Cooper Union.

Lorenzo Clayton grew up in Cannoncito located on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Using materials like copper, wood and glass, Lorenzo's abstract art reflects part of what he remembers from his life on the reservation, notably ceremonial arts, and his Western studies. His artist statement from his Jersey City Museum Installation explains his approach this way: "I believe in the modality of abstraction as the core of human experience and expression. I know that this perception of abstraction is due to an indigenous and culturally-based disposition due to my being one half Navajo. To my knowledge, all indigenous cultures seek out the abstraction (the essence) of a general ontology. I use the term "ontology" deliberately to convey a unique perception of and approach to the act of living. Culturally, this act of living investigates the observational relationship of self to environment and the cosmos. By seeking out "essence" (abstraction), the conscious act and process of this endeavor allows for an internalized spiritual nourishment. The result of this nourishment is externalized and transformed into the abstraction of a ritualistic awareness which is the core of experiential existence. These ideas help nurture my creative thought."