Brian Clarke, painter and architectural artist, was born in Oldham, Lancashire, in 1953, and is the most celebrated stained glass artist in the world today.
A lifelong exponent of the integration of art and architecture, Clarke’s commitment to total art has developed into a Renaissance engagement with multiple media – from painting, sculpture, ceramics, mosaic, tapestry, jewellery and furniture, to sets for opera, the ballet, and stadia. Practising in secular and sacred spaces, his architectural collaborations include work with Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki, Oscar Niemeyer, I. M. Pei, Future Systems and other leading figures of Modern and contemporary architecture, creating stained glass designs and art installations for hundreds of projects worldwide.
His practice in architectural and autonomous stained glass, often on a monumental scale, has led to successive innovation and invention in the fabrication of the medium and, through the production of leadless stained glass, the creation of works made primarily or wholly of lead, he has radically expanded the boundaries of what the medium can do and express.
Major works include the Pyramid of Peace, Kazakhstan; Victoria Quarter Leeds, the largest stained glass roof in Europe; the Hôtel du département des Bouches-du-Rhône Marseille (Le Grand Bleu); the Royal Mosque of King Khalid International Airport; the 13th century Cistercian Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu; Buxton Thermal Baths' Cavendish Arcade; the Al Faisaliyah Center; Pfizer World Headquarters; Beaverbrook Coach House and Spa at Cherkley Court; the Stamford Cone; and NorteShopping Rio de Janeiro. Stage sets and designs for theatre include designs for two productions of Wayne Eagling's Rudolf Nureyev-tribute 'The Ruins of Time' for the Dutch National Ballet; Paul McCartney's World Tour (1989-90) and New World Tour (1992-93); and a production of Robert Ward's opera 'The Crucible', directed by Hugh Hudson.
Clarke is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; Fellow, Trustee, and Council member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; Visiting Professor of Architectural Art, Bartlett School of Architecture; former trustee and Chairman of the Architecture Foundation; Sole Executor and Chairman of the Estate of Francis Bacon; Trustee and Chairman of the Zaha Hadid Foundation; creator and architect of the Brian Clarke Collection of Stained Glass, one of the largest private collections of stained glass: with works and designs from 1100 to the present day, the Collection was formed as a testament to and demonstration of the breadth and potential of the medium, historically and to the present moment, with a focus on Modernism and the avant-garde.