Brian Clarke: On Line
6th January 2020 to 20th February 2020
Arts University Bournemouth, Dorset
The exhibition Brian Clarke: On Line follows Clarke’s investigative and idiosyncratic line through 50 years of its expression in painting, stained glass, collage and sculpture. Clarke has said ‘I’ve no intention of flogging the same idea to death for 50 years’, and as you move from preliminary ideas for architectonic art to personal sketchbooks and on to realised works, the fertile communication between different media and constant searching is evident: the cross reference marks in early life drawings formalised into signature rigid geometries; the pure, mathematical abstraction made synonymous with his name rendered unexpected and organic as shapes begin to be torn from paper rather than cut, leading to the distinctive amorphic shapes – often avian, foliate, cellular in appearance – which characterise his later work; the dark lead that delineates cuts of stained glass inverted in his paintings as white lines on a dark ground; the exploitation of the calligraphic potential of lead solder; sculptures that are “drawings in the air” – all are testament to what Archigram founding member Sir Peter Cook describes as ‘tremendous fertility of mind, and fertility of the created object'”.