Brian Clarke: Atlantes & Astragals

10 December - 22 December 2011


The exhibition Brian Clarke: Atlantes & Astragals, held at Christie's, London, in 2011, presented a series of Brian Clarke’s stained glass panels and paintings never before seen in Europe. At the centre of the exhibition are Clarke’s ‘Studies for Caryatids’, also known as ‘Atlantes'. In a 2012 article in the Evening Standard, ‘Miami beach boys on display at Christie's’, Clarke said:

‘The subjects are inspired by beauty. I didn't want the subject matter to be anything to do with religion. These panels opened the door to a radical change in stained glass and I didn't want it to look similar to anything that had gone before.’

The stained glass panels were shown alongside a series of paintings. In the press release for the exhibition, Christie’s writes:

‘Alongside the glass panels, Clarke will also be showing seven paintings including the Via Dolorosa series. They share the unifying structural motif of a ‘frieze’ of a procession of Porsche motorcars driving across the top of the canvases. The main sections are largely abstract, with lachrymose dribbles of paint. These works are dominated by a palette of opaque blacks and blues, and provide a sombre, nocturnal counterpoint to the sunshine and humour of the Atlantes.’