Clifford Owens

BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. MFA, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Postgraduate, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Owens is an interdisciplinary artist; he makes photographs, performance art, drawings, videos, and texts. His art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Solo museum exhibitions include Anthology at MoMA PS1; Better the Rebel You Know at the former Cornerhouse (Manchester, England); and Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas. Group exhibitions include Freestyle, Greater New York 2005 and Performance Now: The First Decade of the New Century, Walker Arts Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Kitchen, Museum of Modern Art, and others. Owens’s performance-based projects and performances have been widely presented in museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Performa05, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and elsewhere. His collections are in the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, and in private collections. Owens has received numerous fellowships and awards, including: Guggenheim Fellowship, William H. Johnson Prize, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Art Matters, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ralph Bunche Graduate Fellowship. Publications: Anthology, edited by Christopher Y. Lew, including contributions by Kellie Jones, Huey Copeland, and John P. Bowles; reviews and interviews in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Bomb, The Drama Review, New York Magazine; articles published in The New York Times, PAJ: A Journal of Performance Art, Artforum, and exhibition catalogues. Artist in residence: Artpace International Artist in Residence (San Antonio, Texas), MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, New Hampshire), Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program (Brooklyn, NY), Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, NY), and others. Owens served as a critic at Columbia University and Yale University and visiting artist faculty member at Cooper Union, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. SLC, 2019–

Undergraduate Courses 2024-2025

Visual and Studio Arts

Performance Art

Sophomore and Above, Seminar—Spring

ARTS 3424

Since the early 20th century, artists have explored performance art as a radical means of expression. In both form and function, performance pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. Artists use the medium for institutional critique, for social activism, and to address the personal politics of gender, sexuality, and race. This course approaches performance art as a porous, transdisciplinary medium open to students from all disciplines, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, video, filmmaking, theatre, dance, music, creative writing, and digital art. Students learn about the legacy of performance art from the 1970s to the present and explore some of the concepts and aesthetic strategies used to create works of performance. Through texts, artists’ writings, video screenings, and slide lectures, students are introduced to a range of performance-based artists and art movements.