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Artists Edward Clark
Edward Clark Photo

Edward Clark

American Painter

Movements and Styles: Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting

Born: May 6, 1926 - New Orleans, Louisiana

Edward Clark Timeline

Quotes

"I'm still trying to paint that painting...I'm never satisfied with my paintings - but I'm less satisfied with everybody else."
Edward Clark
"I'm a sum total of my experiences at this point. My art would look different now if I hadn't gone to Paris. I'm not saying this is good or bad. But it would be different. The experience of Paris is still with me."
Edward Clark

"...art is not subject to political games, its importance elevates it above any racial difference. All men of talent, of noble spirit, can make it."

Synopsis

Ed Clark is an American Color Field painter whose style was shaped by the years he spent in Paris in the early 1950s. As an African-American who had been raised in the segregated South, he found Paris tolerant, and the atmosphere encouraging. While there, he developed a sophisticated abstract style that was markedly influenced by the tachist painter Nicolas de Stael. His early work is remembered for his "push-broom technique," which encouraged his full physical involvement in painting. He is also noted for the monumental scale of his work, and the fact that he is one of the first painters to have used shaped canvases.

Biography

Edward Clark Photo

Childhood

Edward Clark was born in the Storyville section of New Orleans on May 6, 1926. When he was six, his parents Merion and Edward Sr., moved their family to Baton Rouge where they lived in a shotgun house with his father's great aunt. At this time, Clark began his elementary schooling, where he was first exposed to drawing. On one occasion, a nun at his Catholic school issued a challenge to Clark and his classmates: whoever could produce the best tree drawing would receive a gold star. Taking up the challenge, Clark won acknowledgement from his teachers for his artistic abilities as well as the gold star, and this experience awakened in Clark the desire to become an artist.

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Edward Clark Biography Continues

Important Art by Edward Clark

The below artworks are the most important by Edward Clark - that both overview the major creative periods, and highlight the greatest achievements by the artist.

Untitled (1955)
Artwork Images

Untitled (1955)

Artwork description & Analysis: In this photograph, Clark stands in front of his painting Concord, which was the largest work Clark completed in Paris.

Photograph - Artist's collection

The City (1952)
Artwork Images

The City (1952)

Artwork description & Analysis: The City stands as one of Clark's first major experiments in abstraction. The painting evolved while he was working on a realistic representation of the city; dissatisfied with his results, he proceeded to "destroy" the image with his brush but found he liked the result of his destruction. Executed in an all-over manner, the colors almost appear to be in dialogue with one another.

Oil on canvas - Collection of John and Helen Slimak

Untitled (1957)
Artwork Images

Untitled (1957)

Artwork description & Analysis: Although not the first, this work is amongst Clark's early experimentations with shaped paintings. Like many of Clark's works, this piece is large in scale, measuring 46 by 55 inches

Oil on canvas with paper collage on wood - Art Institute of Chicago

More Edward Clark Artwork and Analysis:



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Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Edward Clark
Interactive chart with Edward Clark's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Nicolas de StaelNicolas de Stael
Jackson PollockJackson Pollock
Mark RothkoMark Rothko
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning
Helen FrankenthalerHelen Frankenthaler

Personal Contacts

Helen GardnerHelen Gardner
Herbert GentryHerbert Gentry
Joan MitchellJoan Mitchell
Al HeldAl Held

Movements

ExpressionismExpressionism
SurrealismSurrealism
Art InformelArt Informel
Abstract ExpressionismAbstract Expressionism
Color Field PaintingColor Field Painting

Influences on Artist
Edward Clark
Edward Clark
Years Worked: 1947 - present
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Al HeldAl Held
Sam FrancisSam Francis
George SugarmanGeorge Sugarman
Frank StellaFrank Stella

Personal Contacts

Herbert GentryHerbert Gentry
Joan MitchellJoan Mitchell
Jean MiotteJean Miotte
Jacob LawrenceJacob Lawrence

Movements

Hard-edge PaintingHard-edge Painting

Useful Resources on Edward Clark

Books

Websites

Articles

Videos

The books and articles below constitute a bibliography of the sources used in the writing of this page. These also suggest some accessible resources for further research, especially ones that can be found and purchased via the internet.

paintings

Explorations in the City of Light: African-American Artists in Paris

By Audreen, and Studio Museum in Harlem Buffalo

Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction

By Frank Bowling

Edward Clark: A Complex Identity - October 7, 1980 - january 11, 1981

By Anita Feldman

African American Abstraction: An Exploration Recomended resource

By Roberta Smith
New York Times
June 28, 1991

Art: Downtown Shows

By Dore Ashton
The New York Times
March 20, 1958


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Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

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