Expanding the Image
August 22 - January 10, 2021
As a preventative measure based on the latest statewide mandates, the galleries have been closed to the public until further notice. Please revisit our website for updates. 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.
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Thu 03 Dec 2020, 1 pm – 12 am
Join us for a live virtual walkthrough of ‘Ed Clark. Expanding the Image’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles with esteemed artist Charles Gaines and the Getty Research Institute’s Associate Curator for Modern and Contemporary Collections, Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks.
Born in New Orleans in 1926 and raised in Chicago, Clark emerged in the 1950s as a pioneer of the New York School. Over the course of seven decades, his experimentations with pure color, abstract form, and the seductive materiality of paint have yielded an oeuvre of remarkable originality, extending the language of American abstraction. Clark’s breakthroughs have an important place in the story of modern and contemporary art: in the late 1950s he was the first American artist credited with exhibiting a shaped canvas, an innovation that continues to reverberate today. His search for a means to breach the limitations of the conventional paintbrush led him to use a push broom to apply pigment to canvas laid out on the floor. Defying the discreet categories of gestural and hard-edged abstraction, Clark has masterfully interwoven these approaches into a unique form of expressionism.