Grant Recipients Roy Lichtenstein Award Visual Arts 2024

Malcolm Peacock

A dimly lit nighttime photograph of Malcolm Peacock, who stands outside before a blurred tan and green background. His body and head are turned to face the right, and he wears no shirt or accessories.
Photo by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
  • 2024 Roy Lichtenstein Award
  • Visual Arts
  • Artist
  • Born 1994, Raleigh, NC
  • Lives in Brooklyn, NY
  • He/Him, They/Them

Artist Statement

My work regards and expands upon emotional and psychic spaces inhabited by Black people. I explore different ways that intimacy arises and can be created between a group or within a singular body. My work is used to propose offerings that exist as routes out (i.e. exits) of commonly accepted social practices and structures. These offerings elicit practices of slowness, close listening, looking, feeling, waiting, searching, holding, being. In my visual art and other works that materialize through one on one human interactions, I submit to durational practices such as endurance hair braiding, prolonged deliveries of speech during exercise, and monologue recitations. For me, these repetitive actions that require a commitment to physical, mental, and spiritual presence possess the ability to be transformative for both myself and those that witness them, as they often place into question our individual relationships to touch, the unknown, patience, discomfort, and possibility. These practices allow me to honor and share the significance of experiences that have changed me over time. Although impossible to experience the interiority of another person’s existence, art is a means by which I express the desire for a social landscape to become more emotionally intimate, present, and responsible.

- December 2023


Malcolm Peacock is an artist and athlete whose art often utilizes and alternates common physical actions—talking, looking, singing, running—to emphasize  the “stakes” and feelings that accompany being present in proximity to others and to one’s self. His practice is particularly interested in taking a deeper look at intimacy and the emotional spaces of Black subjects. 

The performance piece Doing Language: Word Work (2021) was presented at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Peacock was among five artists commissioned to create new work inspired by the fleeting existences of our lives. Under Peacock’s direction, audience members engaged in fleeting interactions with one another, an experience which attending artist Cara Benedetto describes in her own words: 

“When Dennis had finished, our eyes lightly darted and rested to the side once again, we giggled nervously and I thanked him for sharing, for his performance, for the space he made with me and here, and now, with Malcolm too. We spoke our names, allowing an invitation and then parted somewhat abruptly. I stared blankly into the fluttering social scene before me, and felt that finally something had happened. I learned to read differently that day.”

Peacock’s other works include Shala Miller & Malcolm Peacock with Amiri Baraka’s Cellar Vigil (2023) at Artists Space, New York, NY; and next in line at the peak of the valley, his spine bent forward as he surrendered to his choices (2023) as part of Converge 45 Biennial, Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship, SE Cooper Contemporary, Portland, OR. Group exhibitions featuring Peacock’s work include Is It Morning for You Yet? (2022), the 58th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and participation in Yesterday We Said Tomorrow (2021), Prospect 5, The Prospect Triennial, New Orleans, LA. 

He was the Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2023-2024), was awarded the 58th Carnegie International Fine Prize (2022), and received the Art Matters Foundation Grant (2021). Peacock has participated in several artist residencies throughout the country, including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2017). 

Peacock received his M.F.A from The Mason Gross School of Arts at Rutgers University (2019) and his B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University (2016).

A round, squat sculpture made from braided synthetic hair. The top portion is a large disc that is yellow at the center, and transitions outward to dark green with thick green braids lining the border of the disc. The base rounded towards the bottom and is constructed of light brown synthetic braids.

Next in line at the top of the valley, his spine bent forward as he surrendered to his choices, 2023, Braided Kanekalon hair, 84" x 19." Photo by Mario Gallucci.

Next in line at the top of the valley, his spine bent forward as he surrendered to his choices, 2023, sound.

A photo collage made of multiple layered photos at partial opacity. One image is a closeup shot of an athlete laying down on a racing track, their arms raised, hands folded over their forehead, and their eyes are closed as they breathe through their mouth. Layered with this image is a closeup of grass, as well as a smaller, clothed arm that reaches out and touches the athlete's cheek.

How to address the full capacity of our will, 2023, digital photography collage.