Roberta Allen (b. 1945, New York, NY) is a New York-based visual artist and writer. Allen has travelled widely throughout her career. She lived and worked in Europe, and later travelled in Central and South America and West Africa. Since the late 1960s, Allen has mounted more than two dozen solo exhibitions, including two at MoMA/PS1 and four at the legendary John Weber Gallery (both NYC), where she was represented during the 1970s and early 1980s. She has also mounted one-person exhibitions at Franklin Furnace, Hal Bromm Gallery (both NYC); Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich, Germany); and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Perth, Australia), among others in the United States and abroad.
Her work has been included in countless group exhibitions at museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum (all NYC); Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY); Islip Art Museum (Islip, NY); Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art (Ridgefield, CT); Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA); Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD); Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France); Wiener Secession (Vienna, Austria); Museo de Arte Contemporanea (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Museo Nacional de Artes Plasticas (Montevideo, Uruguay); and National Art Gallery (Wellington, New Zealand), among many others.
Her work is included in collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (both NYC); Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT); Yale University (New Haven, CT); Worchester Art Museum (Worchester, MA); Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati, OH); Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, TX); Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris, France); Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich, Germany); and Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth, Australia).
In addition to her visual work, Allen is an accomplished writer who has been widely published since the 1980s. This includes three short story collections, (The Traveling Woman, The Daughter, Certain People), a novel (The Dreaming Girl), a memoir (Amazon Dream), and three writing guides (Fast Fiction, The Playful Way to Serious Writing, The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself). Her short stories, memoirs, essays, and articles have been included in more than a dozen anthologies and more than a hundred magazines and journals. Allen has received writing awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Arts Council, Yaddo, and MacDowell Colony, among others.