Geoffrey Clarke RA

 

In the Summer of 2011 an exhibition of work by Geoffrey Clarke RA was held at Gavagan Art's previous gallery - the Linton Court Gallery.
The exhibition included a number of  Geoffrey's striking and bold prints. A new book is about to be launched in October this year. The book is by Dr Judith LeGrove who facilitated the exhibition in Settle. 
Pease see below for details about the book which is published by Sansom & Company. 

 

Geoffrey Clarke: A sculptor’s prints  

 

Judith LeGrove

 

Monograph and catalogue raisonné

ISBN 978 1 908326 16 4
275mm x 230mm
160pp    inc. c.275 illustrations
October 2012 
Sansom & Co Ltd


Geoffrey Clarke: a sculptor’s prints is the first in-depth study of the graphic work of Geoffrey Clarke, and includes a catalogue raisonné of his etchings and lithographs from 1948 to 2003.

Best known as a sculptor, Geoffrey Clarke (1924 - 2014) exhibited with the group of ‘young’ British sculptors at the 1952 Venice Biennale: Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull.  Through this group, which Herbert Read identified as ‘participating in a general revival of the art of  sculpture,’ Clarke touched the circle of the British avant-garde in the early 1950s, gaining prominence and a considerable degree of fame for his work.  Clarke’s prints were shown at three Venice Biennales. 

In the early to mid-1950s Clarke used iron, stained glass, enamel and printmaking techniques to create linear images of Man.  By the late 1950s he had adopted aluminium,  his technique leading to the greatest number of public commissions (including several for the new Coventry Cathedral) of any post-war British sculptor.

Geoffrey Clarke produced more than  200 etchings, some 3,500 monotypes and more than 20 lithographs.  The book addresses for the first time the centrality of graphic work to Clarke’s practice, relating it not just to his sculpture but to his work in stained glass, textiles, furniture and wallpaper.   

A final section documents the channels through which Clarke’s prints were commissioned, exhibited and disseminated during the 1950s and 1960s, making his work among the most widely seen and ‘marketable’ of British artists during the flowering of mid-twentieth-century British print making.

There are approximately 275 reproductions  + archive photographs.

The Henry Moore Foundation have supported publication with grant aid.

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The sculptor Geoffrey Clarke RA (1924) - 2014) was chosen as one of the artists to produce work for Coventry Cathedral after the second World War. A versatile artist he has worked in stained glass, silver and for his sculptural work, aluminium. On display in the Linton Court exhibition will be enamels, drawings, small scale sculpture, paintings, mono prints and etchings. 
 
Like the Spanish artist Miro, Clarke developed his own language of signs and symbols to convey his ideas, his interest in signs stems from his younger days at various art schools in the North West of England. Clarke spent time at both Preston and Manchester Schools of Art (1940-2) before then serving in the RAF.
 
Moving to London, his first solo show came at the Gimpel Fils gallery in Davies Street in 1952. He was now at the  Royal College of Art where he had moved into the Stained Glass department. Later in 1952 he was exhibited in the Venice Biennale, just two years before his thirtieth birthday. 
 
At the end of the 1960s his sculptures were to feature in a British Sculpture exhibition at the Tate Gallery, and later a similar one at the Royal Academy, he became an Academician in 1975.
Clarke’s work, whilst held in high regard by those studying it, has not been widely exhibited.
Exhibitions have been held in East Anglia (Geoffrey lived in Suffolk for many years) and at the Fine Art Society, where there was a retrospective exhibition in 2000.

His work is to be found in the collections of:Tate Gallery, Arts Council Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.