Work

Chicago Sinai Congregation Synagogue

Chicago Sinai Congregation, West Delaware Place, Illinois

1997

"Chicago is extraordinary. I find it as architecturally compelling as Venice. This synagogue is the fourth I've worked in and my first in the U.S. It was important to create a focal point of concentration that at the same time did not distract from the building's primary function. The colours and forms had to obscure the prosaic mundanities of the car-lot behind and at the same time obscure the internal activities of the building from outside view. I see this work as a kind of huge 'Kabinettscheibe' or jewel fixed into the architectural setting of Dirk Lohan's building. Refracting and transmitting liquid colour into the cylindrical form of the building." – Brian, 1998.

"Brian Clarke designed the window above the torah shrine for this new synagogue in Chicago. High in front of the those who enter hovers a verse from the Bible in its original Hebrew form, suspended in a field of blue. Circular forms seem to rise from the bottom of the composition that begins as a green mass, solid but getting ever lighter as wavelike forms disolve from it. The movement of these waves and the circular forms is directed upwards, where the dark glowing of the green gives way to a deep blue. This window marks a phase in Clarke’s work where his interest in the grid, for a long time the token of a pictorial order reminiscent of early modernism, shifts and opens to an exploration of abstraction of an even more vibrant structure." – art historian Stefan Trümpler, from the book Brian Clarke–Linda McCartney: Collaborations.