Brian Clarke: Vespers, an exhibition of the series of watercolours and mixed media works on paper created by Brian Clarke between 2019 and 2020, opened on 5 August 2021 at the European headquarters of Phillips in London, in collaboration with HENI.
The largest single exhibition of artworks ever displayed at the auctioneer's gallery, the 559 watercolours were presented over two floors of the space for five weeks. As part of the collaboration between Phillips and HENI, the ‘Vespers’ series was made available for purchase, in full, for one week via the HENI Leviathan platform.
In 2021 Clarke said:
‘I’ve had a kind of sneaky romance with poppies for some time. Seeing these works together has a particular biographical resonance: when I was painting them, one memory I tried to capture was of Linda McCartney and I, in the early 80s in Sussex, buying packets of seeds and throwing handfuls out the car as we drove. The next time we’d visit poppies would have sprang up in the roadside fields: a whole hovering, horizontal explosion of colour. In the evening you’d see the sun coming through them, the petals would go transparent and it was like you imagine heaven might be. Intimately married to the experience of stained glass, in these works light passes through the thinnest layers of paint and bounces off the white paper, exploiting the nature of the medium to make them shimmer with liquid colour.’