Ed Clark: Expanding the Image Exhibition

November 7, 2020

January 10, 2021

11:00 AM To 5:00 PM

Hauser & Wirth, 901 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles CA 90013


Event Description

To visit the exhibition, schedule a timed viewing appointment on the website. Gallery open by
appointment only.

A pioneer of the New York School, Ed Clark (1926 – 2019) extended the language of American
abstraction beyond expressionism through his inventive use of pure color, abstract form, and the seductive
materiality of paint. Following Hauser & Wirth’s recent New York exhibition of Clark’s paintings made from 2000
to 2013, ‘Expanding the Image’ will be the gallery’s first exhibition in Los Angeles devoted to the artist. On view
will be works from his highly formative years of 1960 through 1980, two decades during which Clark made pivotal
breakthroughs that expanded the language of abstraction.

This intimate presentation finds Clark solidifying a signature style that evolved from two ground-breaking
techniques that he pioneered in the late 1950s: the use of a push broom to handle paint, and the invention of the
shaped canvas. Both innovations would become central to Clark’s seven-decade career and support his unique
synthesis of European modernism and New York Abstract Expressionism. The artist explained, ‘I began to believe
that the real truth is in the stroke. For me, it is large, bold strokes that do not refer distinctly to seen nature. The
paint is the subject. The motions of the strokes give the work life.’

Clark’s paintings reside in the permanent collections of important American museums, including the Whitney
Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and his oeuvre
was recently celebrated in the landmark touring exhibition ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963
– 1983.’ The exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles seeks to expand awareness of his canonical position in
the history of Abstract Expressionism, and his critical role as a continuously and rigorously original artist in the
story of American art.

About the Exhibition:
It was in 1956 while living in Paris and finding respite from racial discrimination in America that Ed Clark broke
new ground in abstract painting. He was the first artist to use a push broom to literally sweep pigment across
the canvas laid out on the floor in what he called ‘the big sweep.’ This idiosyncratic method gave rise to a new
type of stroke that allowed Clark to cover large areas with great energy and velocity, while also maintaining
straight lines and achieving effects that neither a hand nor standard paintbrush could render. In a 1997 interview,
Clark described the physical intensity the push broom allowed, noting, ‘it’s like cutting through something really
fast; that’s what the push broom gives you, speed. Maybe it’s something psychological. It’s like cutting through


Add a Review

Your Rating for this listing: