Ralph Lemon

Doris Duke Artist Award, 2012

New York, NY

Ralph Lemon is a choreographer, conceptualist, director, writer, and installation artist who is artistic director of Cross Performance, Inc. He develops intellectually rigorous and experimental performances that are as socially and politically resonant as they are personal, including the multimedia collaboration How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2010); a commission for the Lyon Opera Ballet, Rescuing the Princess (2009); and the epic cycle, The Geography Trilogy (1997-2004). His honors include the Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), a Creative Capital Award (2000), the USA Fellowship (2006), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), and the American Choreographers Award; he has also been artist-in-residence at the Krannert Center and Temple University. In 2009, he was an IDA fellow at Stanford University. For the fall 2011 semester he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University School of Art, Sculpture Department.

  • Photo Credit: Tara Fallaux
  • Photo Credit: Ralph Lemon
    How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? (2010)
  • Ralph Lemon- Walter film: http://vimeo.com/48313442
    Walter film
  • Ralph Lemon- 4 Walls, work in progress: http://vimeo.com/48314861
    4 Walls, work in progress
  • Ralph Lemon- Come Home Charley Patton (2004): http://vimeo.com/47661359
    Come Home Charley Patton (2004)
  • Photo Credit: Dan Merlo
    Come Home Charley Patton(2004)

What fuels your impulse to make creative work?

I am spending as much time as I can thinking around performance, the stage, visual art, the museum or gallery, video, film, writing… pure active contemplation and how I would like to be able to live in and between worlds as organically as possible.

My creative process entails a vigorous collision of creative cultures and inspired conversations that dictate how the work is constructed, and how it will be shared with public audiences. I am always asking how can an intensive artistic research and immediate art-making process translate to the staged realm of a theater or gallery. This ongoing struggle between process and production creates a tension that is a vital element in all of my artistic work.