Clifford Owens: Absolutely. Young artists have no sense of history.
Nick Stillman: Why, Cliff not enough teaching?
Clifford Owens: (laughter) Not enough good teaching, perhaps. But I’m not sure it even comes through academia. Something else is happening right now with younger artists and their sense of history. It’s as if what preceded them is of no value or never really happened. I am always amazed when I talk to women artists in college who have no interest in feminist art. There seems to be this frightening, alarming return to the modernist notion of the self contained, genius originator. Young artists in particular don’t want to acknowledge antecedents. I’m not really interested in recuperating history and I’m certainly not interested in romantic nostalgia for the past, but I’m very aware of the history. I mean, painters are always painting against the history of painting. Performance art seems so new, but there’s been so much development in the past 40 or 50 years.
BOMB Magazine | Number 117/ Fall 2011
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Clifford Owens, ArtistMr. Owens received a BFA in 1998 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in 2000 from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He also participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His fellowships and grants include the Rutgers University Ralph Bunche Graduate Fellowship, Art Matters, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, Lambent Fellowship for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Pennies from Heaven Fund of the New York Community Trust, and the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Artists. He has been an artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem and a Hanes Visiting Artist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His work has been widely exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions. Mr. Owens was visiting artist faculty at The Cooper Union, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He has also taught at New York University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Mr. Owens was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and he currently lives and works in Queens, New York. He is represented by On Stellar Rays. He was appointed lecturer in painting/printmaking in 2011.
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