Brian Clarke: The Art of Light

17 June - 14 October 2018


Brian Clarke’s travelling exhibition Brian Clarke: The Art of Light was first presented as an intervention into the permanent collection of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 2018. The centre, located on the grounds of the University of East Anglia, was designed by architect Norman Foster and integrates the building within the natural landscape.

In 2018, The Financial Times wrote:

‘In the exhibition space, Clarke’s panels shimmer and glow in the sunlight, which shines in through floor-to-ceiling windows. The colours dance off a striding Giacometti and mingle with pieces from Mesopotamia, sculptures by Henry Moore and a Cycladic vase from 2700BC. Together [...] they 'make a nonsense' of any division of painting from sculpture, arts from crafts, east from west.’

At the heart of the exhibition was Clarke’s freestanding stained glass screens. In a 2018 review for This Is Tomorrow, Paul Black writes:

‘Clarke paints with light, reflecting poetic and emotional states via a deft use of colour and the juxtaposition of material and environment. The works become “projectors” of light - with colours slowly stretching out across the exhibition space - as the sun sets on the university campus. Colour interacts and transforms when illuminated by natural moving light - or remains mute and cold via the illumination of still synthetic light. Yet Clarke’s practice has been somewhat misconstrued, the artist’s material is not glass; the glass is in fact the artist’s lens. Clarke’s “material” is light itself.’