Brian Clarke: Spitfires
Published by HENI in February 2020
Hardback; 224 pages. ISBN 978-1-9121220-1-1
'SPITFIRES' traces Brian Clarke's engagement with the Spitfire from childhood memory to today’s architectural installations, private line-drawings through to public art, from black and white to the playful, liquid colour of the edition of autonomous stained glass panels, shown here casting light across the rooms of a home. This book brings together the full edition of unique stained glass works, ‘Summer Solstice Spitfires’, together with Brian’s drawings, watercolours, collage and oil paintings from over several years, all riffing on the same iconography.
“My first Spitfires experiments began as white outline drawings that expectorate in urgent and unruly contempt for order, lines shooting off from propellers and fins like electronic orgasms. The Spitfire form lends the line authority and purpose, while the line frees the Spitfire from the conventions of narrative, transcending orthodox interpretation as it becomes ornament. When the shape is repeated at regular intervals it generated a wholly heraldic pattern that yet, somehow, manages to hold on to the deep throaty growl of history.” - Brian in the introductory essay, Spitfires and Cotton Mills.
"Spitfires is a showcase of Clarke’s artistic innovation... structural masterpieces harmonise painting and architecture in a sublime dance of light and colour. This book contains 130 illustrations that capture the stillness of Clarke’s synchronised fleet of Spitfires. Featuring shots from his permanent installation in Soho, London and an introduction from the artist himself." – HENI Publishing