Figuratively Speaking

Figuratively Speaking

The invention of photography, Cezanne and the emergence of abstract painting and other approaches has left the figurative painter with much to deal with in the 21st century.

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John Clark - Jacket 1977 black chalk 59 x 64cms

The short lived but respected artist John Clark (1943-1989) taught first at Hull College of Art and later at the University of Lethbridge, Canada . He was an admirer of artists such as Milton Avery, Philip Guston, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, and Henri Matisse all artists like himself interested more in the transformative than the descriptive. The other common factor was that these artists were all admired equally by abstract painters. Philip Guston invited opprobrium by a mid career switch from a tasteful lyrical abstraction to a brutish cartoon like style depicting and mocking, for example Klu Klux Klansmen. Forty years after his death the powerful confrontation of racism in his work is deemed too hot to handle and the Tate has delayed his scheduled exhibition until 2024.

Radi and Shark

John Clark - Radio and Shark 1977 oil on paper 58 x 69cms

In his own practice John Clark epitomised the dilemma of many contemporary figurative painters “I want my paintings to be overtly figurative and overtly abstract, if such a thing is possible- not synthesised  into an ambiguity”

John Clark - Building at Night 1988 113x160cms

This, our third online exhibition, is drawn from twelve artists who have exhibited at The Cut since 2003 and their work reveals a multiplicity of approaches.

Simon Carter 

Paul Cope 

George Farrow Hawkins 

Julie Giles

Graham Giles 

Menso Groeneveld

John Kiki 

Fabian Peake 

David Page 

Mark Readhead 

Ivy Smith 

Bruer Tidman

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John Clark - City at Night 1984 acrylic on canvas 211 x 167cms

More on John Clark here

Thanks to Pam Clark and David Sweet