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Nick Lenker

Nick Lenker


I conceptualize the experience of online life. Social media and video games are created virtual worlds where we create and embody an avatar. This disembodiment/ embodiment results in a constant state of self-consciousness where we are both subject and object. There is a duality here between what we truly are and the presentation of self within the virtual space. This is the framework for my ceramic sculptures.

The objects are created using handmade/analog processes, and are complicated with references to virtual digital production processes. The objects are attempting to be “real” within a physical and virtual space. I want them to reflect the synchronicity of our digital and physical lives. I create a polygonal crude/ base form. I then try to give it an identity made up of images from online sources. It wants to be more than it is. It deceives to achieve this. We are the object.

If the internet functions as a collective mind, my aim is to psychoanalyze that mind. Entering our dreams from as many different perspectives as possible within a body of my own creation to find what lies hidden in the darkness of our newly created utopia/dystopia.


B. 1982

Lives and works in Philadelphia, USA

Lenker has an MFA from Tyler School of Art and a BFA from The University of the Arts with a ceramic focus. He recently completed a residency at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia from 2016 -2021. In 2019, Lenker completed the courtyard commission for Project Home’s most recent housing project, the Gloria Casarez Residence (an LGBT focused homelessness prevention project). He has been nominated for a Pew Fellowship, as well as a US Artists Fellowship. In 2019, he selected as one of the NCECA Emerging Artists. In 2020, Lenker had a solo exhibition at the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum. In 2021, he was included in the international exhibition of ceramic art for Art Macau, in Macau, China as well as in the Korean International Ceramics Biennale. Lenker is in collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum as well as numerous private collections.


  • 2012 - MFA, Tyler School of Art
  • 2005 - BFA, The University of the Arts
  • 2022 - UPCOMING- TBD, Headstone, Kingston, NY, (two person show with Marina Fridman)
  • 2020 - Inventory, Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
  • 2019 - Disembodied Gazer, Window on Broad, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA Viewing, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2017 - Recreation (First Person), Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2015 - Revisited, CENTRAL, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2014 - Long Hidden Friend, Practice Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2013 - Follow Me, Bodega Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (Collaboration with Rob Francisco of M Ax Noi Mach)
  • 2012 - The Remnants, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • The Last Days of the Apocalypse of Now, Pageant Gallery, Philadelphia,PA
  • 2010 - The Destruction and Creation of Man, Pageant Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Man, Myth and Magic, Bambi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (Collaborative show with Paul Swenbeck)
  • 2008 - Dissolve and Combine, StoneFox Artspace, New York, NY
  • Erratic, Gallery 817, Philadelphia, PA (two person show with Christopher Davison)
  • 2006 - All for Show, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Beautiful Amnesia, Padlock Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2004 - Changing the Face of God, UArts, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2022 - UPCOMING- Earth Oracles, Mayten's Projects, Toronto, Canada, Curator: Lindsay Montgomery
  • 2021 - New Light: Encounters and Connections, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA
  • Re:Start, Korean International Ceramic Biennale 2021, Gyeonggi Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, South Korea
  • “Project SandX – Beyond the Blue”, Art Macau, Macau, China
  • SLIP: Contemporary Ceramics, Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL Curator: Adam Shiverdecker
  • Future Memories, The Clay Studio. Philadelphia, PA (Relocated exhibition from NCECA)
  • 2020 - Clay Studio National, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
  • Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
  • Collaboration with Aleksander Mitrovic, fashion design student , Central Saint Martin, London, UK
  • 2019 - Double Meeting, Orgy Park, Brooklyn, NY
  • Reminiscences, Aspect/ Ratio, Chicago, Illinois curator: Pia Singh
  • From Storage to Studio, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA (collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art)
  • MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, Whitesbog, NJ
  • Emerging Artists, NCECA, Minneapolis, MN
  • Veiled, District Clay, Washington, DC, Curator: Chase Folsom
  • Permanent Residency, Gogggleworks, Reading, PA
  • 2018 - Queering Space, Alfred University, Alfred, NY
  • Double Meeting, Orgy Park, Brooklyn, NY
  • Casting Shadows, NCECA, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2017 - Hello/ Goodbye, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
  • Collective Design, Wexler Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2016 - Person, Place, or Thing, Fleisher Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Transference, The Clay Studio, Phialdelphia, PA
  • MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, Whitesbog, NJ
  • 2015 - SCOPE, Crane Arts, Miami Beach, FL
  • Woodmere Annual, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA, Curator: Dufala Brothers
  • Unframed, ACRIA Benefit Auction, Bortolami Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2017 - Collective Design, New York, NY
  • 2015 - SCOPE, Miami Beach, FL
  • 2016–2021 - The Clay Studio - Resident Artist
  • 2006 - Fabric Workshop and Museum – Apprenticeship Program
  • 2004 - Haystack Mountain School of Crafts –on Scholarship
  • 2020 - Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred University, Artist Lecture
  • Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, Artist Lecture
  • 2019 - The Clay Studio, Artist Lecture
  • Emerging Artist, NCECA, Minneapolis, MN
  • The Clay Studio, Artist Lecture
  • 2018 - Bucks County Community College, Newtown, PA, Artist Lecture and demonstration.
  • NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Artist Lecture
  • 2017 - Moore College of Art and Design, Video Screening and Q&A
  • The Clay Studio, Artist Lecture
  • Moore College of Art and Design, Artist Lecture
  • 2016 - NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY, Guest Critic
  • 2015 - Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, Visiting Artist Lecture/ Art Fairs Lecture/ Studio Visits
  • Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA, Visiting Artist Lecture/ Studio Visits
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Visiting Artist Lecture
  • 2009 - ICA Philadelphia, Little Notes Concerning the Forming of a Vase, in conjunction with Dirt on Delight
  • 2018 - ProjectHOME – Art for the Gloria Casarez Residence - LGBTQ homeless youth prevention building project
  • 2022 - United States Artists Fellowship – nomination (PENDING)
  • 2021 - United States Artists Fellowship – nomination
  • 2020 - United States Artists Fellowship – nomination
  • Research Fellowship, Center for Craft - nomination
  • 2019 - NCECA Emerging Artist
  • 2018 - Pew Fellowship in the Arts – nomination
  • 2004 - William Daly Scholarship for Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
  • Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred, NY
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • William Wong, President of Sands Casino Macao, Macao, China
  • Sienna Freeman, Chief of Staff, SFMOMA, San Franscisco, CA
  • Sean Buffington,Vice President, Henry Luce Foundation, New York, NY
  • Victoria Schonfeld and Victor Friedman, New York, NY
  • Don Mullins, Austin, TX
  • David Fox and Chris Stone, StoneFox Architecture, New York, NY
  • Bill Arning, Bill Arning Exhibitions, Houston, TX
  • Sande Webster, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Virgil Marti and Peter Barbarie (Curator of Photography, PMA), Philadelphia, PA
  • Arthur Dantchik, Philadelphia, PA
  • Franz Raybauer and Brian Daggett, Philadelphia, PA
  • Anita Lam, Philadelphia, PA
  • Daniel Dalseth, Pageant Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Libby Rosof, The ArtBlog, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2018-2021 - White Columns Online Artist Registry
  • 2021-2022 - Adjunct Professor, The University of the Arts, Beginning Ceramics
  • Adjunct Professor, Moore College of Art and Design, Beginning Ceramics and Advanced Ceramics
  • 2011-2015 - Adjunct Professor, Tyler School of Art, Beginning Ceramics
  • 2013 - Adjunct Professor, Tyler School of Art, 2 Dimensional Ceramics/ Intermediate Ceramics
  • 2012-PRESENT - Head Preparator/ Graphic Designer – Wexler Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2005–2012 - Artist Assistant - Virgil Marti, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2010–2012 - Graduate Assistant - Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2007-2010 - Production Manager - The Ceramic Shop, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2007-2012 - Preparator – Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
  • Korea International Ceramic Biennale exhibition catalog
  • “Project SandX – Beyond the Blue”, exhibition catalog
  • From Storage to Studio, exhibition catalog, October 2019.
  • NCECA Claytopia, NCECA Journal, March 2019.
  • Tales from the Kiln, American Craft Magazine. February/March 2019.
  • Daquino, John. The Roar of the Beast. ArtSlant New York. June 15, 2008.
  • Donoghue, Katy. ACRIA's Annual “Unframed” Benefit and Auction. Whitewall Magazine. June 2, 2015.
  • Fallon, Roberta and Rosof, Libby. The Art Blog. Multiple archived articles since 2005.
  • Jones, Whitney, Missed Connections: Queer Gamer Seeks Love Through Ceramics. CFILE. May 24, 2018.
  • McCartney/Belknap Projects. Never Edition. November 2013.
  • Newhall, Edith. ...Philly artists at Fleisher/Ollman. Philly.com/Inquirer/. December 2016.
  • Schwartz, Chip. Art of the hex and finding meaning in secular magic with Nick Lenker. Knight Arts. October 21, 2014.
  • Schwartz, Chip. Recreation – First Person. Artblog. October 10, 2017.

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