Between Extremities


Fleur-de-lys in stained glass and lead on a ground of collaged newspaper articles, coverage from the litigation which Brian (as sole executor of Francis Bacon’s estate) brought against Bacon’s former gallery, screenprinted on and fired into glass. Together with the 'Francis Bacon Triptychs' of the same year, this work memorialises his and John Edwards' involvement in the Bacon trial.

Moving with frequency between the polarities of my experience is a fertile source of ideas. Somewhere between anguish and joy lies a region taut with further contradictions. If art speaks truth to power then in my view both compelling forces need to be addressed. The desolate truth carried in profundity is made even more striking when matched by the sublime energy of the decorative.” – Brian Clarke, in the Vitromusée Romont catalogue of his exhibition ‘Life and Death’ (2010). This piece takes its title (as do many of Brian’s works) from the poem ‘Vacillation’ by W. B. Yeats, which starts: "Between extremities Man runs his course".