Terry Allen (artist)

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Terry Allen
Terry allen 2010.jpg
Terry Allen at the 2010 Texas Book Festival
Background information
Born (1943-05-07) May 7, 1943 (age 74)
Wichita, Kansas
Genres Outlaw country, alt.country, Texas country
Occupation(s) Vocalist, painter, conceptual artist
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1970s–present

Terry Allen (born May 7, 1943 in Wichita, Kansas) is a country music singer in the outlaw country/Texas country genre, painter, and conceptual artist from Lubbock, Texas. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Early life[edit]

Allen's father was Fletcher ("Sled") Allen (born August 23, 1886 in West Plains, Missouri – died October 16, 1959 in Lubbock, Texas) a catcher in 1910 for the St. Louis Browns, who continued his career as a player-manager in the Texas League.[1]

Allen attended Monterey High School[2] in Lubbock, Texas. His contemporaries at Monterey High School included Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Jo Harvey Allen and Jo Carol Pierce. Trained as an architect, he received a B.F.A. from the Chouinard Art Institute in 1966.[3] After briefly teaching at his alma mater (1968-1969) and the University of California, Berkeley (1971), Allen served on the faculty of the California State University, Fresno as a guest lecturer (1971-1973), associate professor (1974-1977) and professor (1978-1979) of art before resigning his appointment to pursue other opportunities.[3] His art has been supported by three National Endowment for the Arts grants and a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. His work Trees[4] (the music, literary and third trees) is installed on the campus of the University of California, San Diego as part of the Stuart Collection. His artwork has been featured at the L.A. Louver art gallery in Venice, California.

Visual artist[edit]

Allen is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim[5] in San Francisco, California. His works are represented in the collections of many international museums including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Espace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain, Musée Saint-Pierre, Lyon, France, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kansas City, Missouri is home to both his controversial public sculpture "Modern Communication"[6] as well as The Belger Collection[7][8] which features Terry Allen as one of their seven "core artists."


Allen recorded eight albums during the years 1975 to 2004 and collaborated with David Byrne on the soundtrack for Byrne's movie True Stories. Allen's music is far from traditional. A quotation attributed to Allen states, "People tell me it's country music, and I ask, 'Which country?'" Allmusic calls his 1979 release, Lubbock (On Everything), "one of the finest country albums of all time" and a progenitor of the alt-country movement.[9]

Allen made a cameo appearance on the track "Ghost of Travelin' Jones" from Ryan Bingham's 2007 album, Mescalito.



Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]