Our Studio Sunday feature this week is Ed Clark. Clark is an American painter widely associated with the abstract expressionist movement of the 1950s and 60s. The artist has enjoyed a long career -- as of 2019 he has been creating paintings for over 60 years. Clark was born in New Orleans, relocated to Chicago as a child, studied art in Paris, and later moved to New York.
There’s something about this studio photograph that makes me think of Gerhard Richter. Clark is pushing paint across a massive canvas with a broom, and there’s something about this huge, almost ridiculously conspicuous method of laying down paint that speaks to the German painter’s use of equally massive brush strokes.
Judging by the state of the floor in Clark’s studio, I would guess that this isn’t the first time the artist has experimented with less conventional methods of applying pigment to canvas. The whole space seems dense with colour and paint, caked onto every surface. Looking at the space I get the sense that Clark is very focused in his practice -- the type of artist who becomes so engrossed in a painting that the background space of the studio simply fades out of existence while work is being produced.
Clark’s style has varied over the course of his career, but the artist’s use of bright, striking pigment, layered on in large, distinct planes, has remained consistent. The artist has been known to work on irregularly shaped canvases as well as traditional rectangular pieces.