Touching the Sky: The Metaphysical Quest of John Clark
Painter John Clark (1943-1989) holds a prominent place in the development of art in Canada and is of special importance to Atlantic Canada. He was one of the most respected and admired figurative artists of the 1980s. Born in Yorkshire, U.K. in 1943, he died of cancer in 1989 at Lethbridge, Alberta, tragically young at the age of 46.
A gifted artist, writer, curator and university professor, Clark’s career spanned important periods of work in England, at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, and finally at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta. His work is represented in many of the principal public art collections in Canada, notably the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Glenbow Museum, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. As an instructor, he was inspirational and influential, motivating and animating students towards becoming emerging, dedicated professional artists.
Drawn from the Clark estate and public collections, the works in this exhibition provide an overview of the artist’s remarkable career. Clark was very attuned and sensitive to the mood, tone, coloration and themes pertinent to the places where he lived. He pursued an ever-evolving exploration. His subjects morph, transforming from faces into clocks into wheels into celestial orbs. Clark’s paintings position us firmly rooted on the ground, but gazing skyward and fathoming the invisible forces that shape our existence back down on the surface of the planet.
Curator: Jeffrey Spalding C.M., R.C.A.
Organized by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery with the support of the City of Fredericton and the Province of New Brunswick.