Brian Clarke

Brian Clarke/ Brian Clarke

United Kingdom 1953

Installation, Sculpture, Painting, Glass Art

www.brianclarke.co.uk

Brian Clarke
Brian Clarke
Male
United Kingdom
1953

Creating art pieces brings with it an amazing opportunity – to capture emotions, thoughts, and impactful moments within the medium that can be recollected at any time in the future. Uplifted by artistic beauty and sublime at certain points in his life, the British artist Brian Clarke reinterprets such feelings and memories in his art consequently evoking such moments in others. Working with several different mediums, Clarke’s worldwide renown lies in his handling of the stained glass that makes him one of the best contemporary artists in this field. Marked by fluidity, transillumination, and interaction with the environment, his prolific portfolio can be seen in many buildings throughout the world.

Stained glass inspiration has even fueled Brian Clarke’s paintings

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Brian Clarke – Darkness Visible, 2012

Liberation of Stained Glass

As an art form, stained glass is associated with several great benefits and flaws. The way that has to be made, supporting its own weight (which can be an issue with large-scale pieces) and formed in a specific shape, makes the craft not only tough to master but hard to implement. That being said, it has been used almost exclusively for windows of buildings like churches, mosques, and other alike structures until the recent past that started including them in sculptures. Brian Clarke is one of the artists who has devoted his practice and life to the “liberation” of stained glass from the categorical affiliation with the church, attempting to give the art direction a sort of freedom that painting enjoys. Using knowledge of architecture, design, and art, Clarke has created stained glass installations for both private and public collections that can be seen from Apax & Partners’ London HQ to the Pyramid of Peace and Accord in Kazakhstan.

Clarke has devoted his practice and life to the “liberation” of stained glass

Fluidity of the Material

Although Clarke has made paintings, mosaics, and sculpture, he is best known for stained glass works that he enjoys making. It even influenced the way he sees art altogether, making his painting oeuvre distinct among others as he depicts scenes and ideas as if seen through stained glass. It’s quite understandable, for once you see one of his stained glass pieces, you can’t but realize its potential and overcome the possible thought of it being just a “painted glass.” Clarke puts a lot of architectural thought into the placing of his pieces, forcing a very creative and engaging interaction with the environment that makes the work fluent and ever changing. Playing with the shadow of objects behind the glass or light that falls onto it, the appearance of most of his works depends on the time of the day and season, making this “liquid medium” his favorite.

Every Clarke’s piece is forcing a very creative and engaging interaction with the environment

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Left: Brian Clarke – Pyramid of Peace, Astana, 2005 / Right: Brian Clarke – Victoria Quarter, Leeds, England, 1989

An Experience

Although Brian Clarke holds and utilizes the knowledge of architecture and design, he prefers to be called an artist. Working with a medium that might be “unconventional” to some, he creates truly amazing art pieces and shows that stained glass deserves a lot more attention and affirmation of the contemporary art society. Inspired by the translumination that the stained glass provides, all of his works represent a window into another reality, one often changing within a single piece as the time goes by. Fueling his other work, every Clarke stained glass piece is more than just a sight to be seen – it is an experience that engages all of the senses, bound to elevate the medium in anyone’s eyes.

Brian Clarke lives and works in London and Munich.

Featured photo: Brian Clarke. All photos credit the artist.
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

Year Exhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Brian Clarke: Spitfires and PrimrosesPace, LondonSolo
2015Brian Clarke: Works from 1977 to 1985, as curated by Robert FraserPace, LondonSolo
2013Piper & Clarke. Stained Glass: Art or Anti-Art The Verey Gallery and Eton College, Eton, UK, Group
2013Between Extremities Pace Gallery, New York, Group
2012Love Him More (An exhibition of paintings, stained glass and works on paper) Kristy Stubbs Gallery,Dallas, Group
2011The Quick and the Dead: New paintings by Brian Clarke Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Netherlands, 2Group
2011Atlantes and Astragals (an exhibition of paintings and stained glass)Christie's, LondonGroup
2011Paint Tube Inspiration Saatchi Gallery, London, March 2011Group
2011Brian Clarke: Works on Paper 1969-2011 Phillips de Pury at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, London, Group
2010Brian Clarke: Life and Death Vitromusée, Au Château, Romont, Switzerland, 21 November 2010 - 13 July 2011[16]Group
2008Don't Forget the Lamb Phillips de Pury, 450 West 15 Street,Mosaic PathGroup
2005Lamina Gagosian Gallery, London, Group
2002Brian Clarke: Transillumination Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York,Group
2002Flowers for New York: A tribute to New York in Stained Glass and Painting on Canvas The Corning Gallery at Steuben, 667 Maddison Avenue, New York, Group
2000Fashion Acts exhibition and auction of photographs initiated to help people affected by HIVAIDS (Sponsored by Olympus) Mulberry,London,Group
1998The Glass Wall (Dedicated to Linda McCartney) Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA, Group
1998Brian Clarke - Linda McCartney Deutsche Glasmalerei-Museum (German Stained Glass Museum),Group
1998Fleurs de Lys: New Paintings Faggionato Fine Arts, London,Group
199880 Artistes autour du Mondial Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris,Group
1997Brian Clarke - Linda McCartney Musée Suisse du Vitrail, Romont, Switzerland, Group
1995Fazit ’95, The Collection of the Langen Museum for Contemporary Stained Glass Altes Rathaus Langen, Germany,Group
1995Exempla ’95 Chamber of Commerce for Munich and Bavaria, Munich, GermanyGroup
1994Brian Clarke: Paintings and Stained Glass Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA,Group
1993Images of Christ Northampton Museum and St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Group
1993Brian Clarke: Designs on Architecture Oldham Art Gallery, Oldham, Lancashire, Group
1993Brian Clarke: New Paintings The Mayor Gallery, LondonGroup
1993Architecture and the Sacred Space in the Modern Age (with architect Alfred Jacoby) Venice Biennale, Group
1992Addressing the Forbidden Brighton Festival, Brighton, 1992. Stills Gallery,Group
1992The Drawing Centre New York, 1992Group
1992Light and Architecture (in collaboration with Future Systems) Ingolstadt, Germany, Group
1992The Painter in Glass Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Wales, 1992[19]Group
1990Brian Clarke: Into and Out of Architecture The Mayor Gallery, London, Group
1990Rockens Billeder - Images of Rock Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark, Group
1990Brian Clarke: Architecture and Stained Glass The Sezon Museum of Art, Annex Tokyo, Tokyo, JapanGroup
1989Brian Clarke: Paintings The Indar Pasricha Gallery, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India, 1989. The Pyrri Art Centre, Savolinna, Finland, Group
1988British Art The Mayor Gallery, LondonGroup
1988Die Architektur der Synagoge (Architecture of the Synagogue) Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum), Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
1988Brian Clarke Malerei und Farbfenster 1977 - 1988, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Germany,Group
1988Brian Clarke: Intimations of Mortality Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany, Group
1987Brian Clarke: Paintings, 1976 - 1986Seibu Museum of Art, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Group
1986Brian Clarke: Stained Glass Seibu Museum of Art, Yurakacho, Tokyo, Group
1984Brian Clarke: Works on Paper 1976 - 1984 with Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, Group
1983Black,White (with Jean-Michel Basquiat) Robert Fraser Gallery, London, Group
1983Brian Clarke: Paintings opening exhibition of the Robert Fraser Gallery, LondonGroup
1982Brian Clarke - Serigraphien und Mosaik, Franz Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt, Munich, GermanyGroup
1982British Stained Glass Centre International de Vitrail, Chartres, France, Group
1981Brian Clarke: New Paintings Constructions and Prints (with the Robert Fraser Gallery) The Royal Institute of British Architects, London,Group
1981Brian Clarke: Prints Vernon Gallery, Preston, Lancashire, UK, Group
1980Brian Clarke: Paintings Mappin Art Gallery and Museum, City of Sheffield, UK, Group
1981Art in Education Whitechapel Art Gallery, London,Group
1979Brian Clarke Drawings St. Edmunds Art Centre, Salisbury, England, Group
1979Glass Light Exhibition (with John Piper and Marc Chagall) Festival of the City of London, Group
1975Brian Clarke: Glass Art One Mid-Pennine Arts Association, Arts Council of Great Britain, Group