Pace London presents an exhibition of new work by the leading British artist Brian Clarke. Showing the artist’s stained-glass pieces and paintings, Clarke’s solo exhibition runs in conjunction with ‘A Strong Sweet Smell Of Incense’, a group exhibition curated by Clarke at 6 Burlington Gardens celebrating the seminal Swinging London art dealer who was both a friend and early supporter of The artist.
Clarke has been a pioneered, forging new directions in the use of glass for more than four decades, extending his practice to painting sculpture and mosaics. Architecturally, the artist has collaborated with figures such as Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, I.M Pei and Renzo Piano. Clarke developed his interest in glass out of exposure to British Gothic cathedrals during his childhood in northern England. Although he maintains a classical knowledge of the medium, he has developed it beyond its largely religious citing.
“After nearly four decades of intense production in painting, sculpture, and stained glass, Clarke is not an easy artist to absorb, let alone to classify. If there were an artist capable of synthesizing space, time, and light, ranging from his intimate “drawings in the air” on black sugar paper to his rigorous indepth architectonic achievements, he could be none other than Brian Clarke.” Robert C. Morgan, Between Extremities catalogue, Pace Gallery NY. Clarke has juxtaposed his understanding of stained glass’s history and technique with contemporary principles, employing the delicate medium to make artworks in the non-ecclesiastical traditions of Pop Art and abstraction.
Clarke installed a new stained-glass window specifically designed to be site-specific at the Lexington Street gallery. The selection of paintings also demonstrates the interaction between media in the artist’s body of work. Painting frequently function as the genesis of Clarke’s stained glass works, yet the distinction between the opacity of painting versus the site-specific translucency of the glass, reveals the artist’s awareness of material.
Clarke has collaborated with some of the world’s most prominent architects and artists to create stained-glass proposals and installations for hundreds of projects, including the Pyramid of Peace and Accord, Kazakhstan (Norman Foster); the Al Faisaliyah Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Foster + Partners); the Pfizer World Headquarters, New York; the Papal Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, London, U.K.; the Darmstadt Synagogue, Germany; Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany; Linköping Cathedral, Linköping, Sweden; NorteShopping, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and the Research Centre, Saudi Arabia (Zaha Hadid). Clarke also designed stage sets for two of Paul McCartney’s world tours and for the Dutch National Ballet.
The artist’s stained-glass works and paintings have been the subject of exhibitions at international museums including the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands; Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Munich Stadtmuseum, Germany; the Centre International de Vitrail, Chartres, France; and the Vitro Musée, Romont, Switzerland. His work is represented in international public and private collections worldwide, including the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, where his 1,000square-foot installation The Glass Wall (1998) is on view. Clarke lives and works in London. Clarke was represented by the Robert Fraser gallery until 1985. He is now represented by Pace and this is his second exhibition with the gallery.
Brian Clarke – Spitfires And Primroses – Pace Gallery Lexington Street, London – until 21 March 2015