Le Mouvement: The Ed Clark Retrospective

June 8, 2013 – August 10, 2013

Ed Clark was born in 1926 in the Storyville section of New Orleans, LA. In 1935, at the age of nine, Clark moved to the Southside of Chicago where he was raised. At the dawn of World War II, seventeen year-old Clark left high school to join the Air Force. After spending two years stationed in Guam he returned to Chicago with his sights on attending art school. Clark enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago and then continued his studies abroad at L’Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France.

By 1953, Clark was exhibiting his work in galleries throughout Paris. He began experimenting with large–scale paintings, reaching as high as twelve feet and as wide as fifteen feet. Clark was unable to find paintbrushes large enough to accommodate his large-scale paintings; using his ingenuity he discovered a new use for the push broom, which he calls “the big sweep”.  His big sweep allowed him to express his creativity on a larger scale and ultimately became his signature style.

In 1957, after living in Paris for five years Clark moved to New York City to join the burgeoning contemporary art scene. During his first year there he created and exhibited America’s first documented “shaped canvas”, influencing modern art throughout the late 1950’s and 1960’s.   That pieces now on permanent display at Art Institute of Chicago.

In the 1970’s, Clark began traveling through out the world visiting different locales including Morocco, Brazil, Greece, Yucatan, Martinique, Nigeria, and China.  He immersed himself in different cultures creating works that represented the feeling, mood, and pallet of the exotic places in which they were created.

Now at the age of eighty-seven, Ed Clark continues to paint in his Chelsea, New York studio while spending his summers in Paris.  His works can be found in museums around the globe including the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, Detroit Institute of Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Centro de Arte Moderno, Guadalajara, Mexico, Museum Solidarity, Titagrad, Yugoslavia, and the Museum of Modern Art in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.