The Paul McCartney World Tour

1989 - 1990

Brian Clarke designed stage sets for The Paul McCartney World Tour in 1989 to 1990. Clarke first made his set designs as scale works in acrylic and collage, cutting and tearing his signature grid and amorphic elements by hand. Full-size stage sets were then executed by set painters based on these designs, first on canvas and then on acoustically transparent scrim as the show was expanded for larger venues. The tour, McCartney's first under his own name, played to a total of 2,843,297 people and promoted the album Flowers in the Dirt, whose cover Clarke had also designed in collaboration with Linda McCartney.

In his essay ‘Into Architecture’ from Brian Clarke: Into and Out of Architecture (1990), Paul Bedlock writes:

‘The sets, which can be appreciated as independent works, have been designed to function in combination with the virtuosic display of lights. The variation in colour and intensity of light in stained glass, which is normally produced by ambient natural light, is simulated in the sets by projected artificial lights to create what appears to be an infinity of modulations in a stained glass “tableau vivant”.’