Brian Clarke 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 and the creation of sculptural stained glass works made primarily or wholly of lead, he has radically stretched the boundaries of what the medium can do and express.
Major works include the Pyramid of Peace in Astana, Kazakhstan; Victoria Quarter, Leeds - Europe's largest stained glass work; the Hôtel du département des Bouches-du-Rhône (Le Grand Blue), Marseilles; the Royal Mosque of King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh; the 13th century Cistercian Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu, Romont; Buxton Thermal Baths; the Al Faisaliah Centre, Riyadh; the interior and the facade of Pfizer World Headquarters, Manhattan; EAM HQ in Kassel; Apax & Partners HQ, London; the Stamford Cone, Connecticut; 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, with the Dutch National Ballet; Paul McCartney's World Tour (1989-90) and New World Tour (1993); and a production of the Robert Ward 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; former Visiting Professor of Architectural Art at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London's; former trustee and Chairman of the Architecture Foundation; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass; Hon. Doctor of Law, University of Huddersfield; Doctor of Humane Letters, Virginia Theological Seminary; former member of the Design Review Committee for the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE); Governor of the Capital City Academy Trust; Sole Executor and Chairman of the Estate of Francis Bacon; Trustee and Chairman of the Zaha Hadid Foundation.