New Blood Art

Carefully curated artwork by outstanding emerging artists...

John Clark

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Degree: Fine Art, First-Class Honours
University: Ruskin School of Fine Art And Drawing, Oxford

New Blood Art Statement

John Clark’s work forms unique interpretations of modern day identities. Plays of light, tone and shape give Clark’s work a contemporary feel whilst compositional values seemingly cede to the imagery of classical painting. This wide breadth of dexterity gives Clark’s work a unique impact which, in turn, extends the deliciously thought provoking effect of each effigy. There is something undoubtedly familiar about certain pieces. Clark has a captivating style, with underlying messages including the desolation and irony of the modern workplace ethos. Figurative depictions with clever illusions of space give a satisfying sense of depth.

Clark's paintings emerge and mark a pause; signals that something has been glimpsed and might be noted. That the carefully rendered models are figures, lends a complicating narrative dimension to work that might otherwise simply be about the play of light and shade across objects in space.

Artist Statement

It’s not entirely clear to me why I paint or indeed why anyone would. Painting is not a good solution to any problem that is not its own and its product not easily marshalled to another cause. Inefficient, clumsy and problematically personal it’s a perverse indulgence in a world full of purposeful activity bent on overcoming the many social challenges we face. Perhaps it is the perversity as much as the historical and practical complexities of the process that I enjoy.

But if there seems no good reason to paint I am clear enough about what I paint: models of people or fragments of bodies that I have found and sometimes built. They are culled from the half world of the computer which provides tools for their manipulation in a gravity free environment. I cut them up, arrange, combine and light them. It is a form of play that proceeds with some urgency, as if it were a hunt. Meanings percolate gently through the mixing, attaching and detaching themselves as the arrangements shift. I exert little control but take notice and what I notice I paint.

I suspect that at the heart of the process is a concern for what it is to be human, allied to a suspicion that the real world is as much a product of desire as it is an object.

In recent work I have looked more and directed less. The paintings have become smaller and simpler. The larger groupings have given way to smaller studies that sit somewhere between still lives and anatomies. Heads float in space, arms lie on planes most commonly set against the black of the computers infinite space.

Selected Exhibitions

2017 Lynn Painter Stainers 

2017 ‘Beyond The Real’, Stratford 

2016 Private, Beijing 55 Art Space 2016 “Thinking”, Riverside Gallery, Beijing 

2016 ‘How the Light Gets In’, Institute of Ideas, Hay on Wye 

2016 Correspond, 35 Painters, Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh 

2016 Fulcrum, ARB Cambridge

2015 The Discerning Eye, London

2015 ‘One’, The Exhibitionist Hotel, London 

2015 The Sleep Of Reason Part 4, Cambridge 

2015 ‘How the Light Gets In’, Institute of Ideas, Hay on Wye 

2014 Context Art, Miami 

2014 The Sleep of ReasonPart3, Eton AB, London 

2014 The Sleep of Reason Part2, Norwood Club,New York 

2014 The Sleep of Reason Part1, Konstnärshuset ,Stockholm 

2014 Affordable Art Fair, New York 

2013 A Beautiful Death, View, Bristol 

2013 RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy ,London 

2013 Affordable Art Fair, New York 

2013 Battersea Affordable Art Fair, London 

2013 Hampstead Art Fair, London 

2011 ‘Configured’ Signal Gallery, London 

2011 ‘Summer Contemporary’ , Alon Zakaim, London 

2011 ‘Show Me The Monet’ Royal College of Art, London 

2011 ‘Painting Stories” Solo show Kings College, Cambridge 

2010 Real Broadgate| GoFigurative 

2010-14 Open Studios, Cambridge 

2009 London Design Week “ Furniture File” 

1995 ‘Irish Days 3’, Slupsk, Poland 

1995 ‘Do It’, CCA, Glasgow

1994 ‘Modern Art’, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow 

1991 ‘Salon Glasgow’, CCA, Glasgow 
1990 Galerie Sculptur, Helsinki, Finland 

Press & Publications

2012 ‘Good Old Drawing: G.O.D” by: Sir Nicholas Serota, et al 

2011 ‘From Killzone to Canvas’ interview in Guardian Newspaper 

2011 ‘Show Me The Monet’ BBC2 

Grants & Awards

1995 Scottish Arts Council; Small Assistance Grant 

1990 GDC Exchange Programme; 3 month exchange to Helsinki, 

1990 British Council Research grant: Arte Leku, San Sebastian, Spain 

Related Activities

2010 BAFTA (best art direction: handheld)
1993 Selector for Scottish Sculpture Open
1988-92 Director and Vice Chair , Glasgow Sculpture Studios
1991 Chair of Independent Artists Initiative, (Art 2000)
1989 Chair of Steering Committee for Association of Scottish Artists  

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