The Vespers by Brian Clarke

2 min read  ·  26 Jun 2024

HENI is delighted to present The Vespers by Brian Clarke, a series of eight limited edition prints after his pivotal Vespers series of watercolours.

The editions are Giclée prints on Cotton Smooth Rag, set within an oak frame with UV-protected acrylic glass. The four large artworks measure 90 x 130 cm (framed) and the four smaller works measure 90 x 70 (framed) cm. Each work is from an edition of 25 (+ 5 APs) and is hand-signed and numbered on the front.

The application window is open from 27 June until 8 July at 17:00 BST.

The forms appear at first glance to be poppies, with thin, green paint-drip stems and vivid scarlet petals. Emerging from the artist’s memories of roadside poppy fields, the flowers quickly take on a more abstract, changeable appearance, presenting mesmerising interactions of light and colour.

The Vespers recreate Clarke’s characteristic graphic and fluid paintwork in facsimile, encapsulating what critic and curator Robert Storr has called Clarke’s “deft command of gestural brushwork… able to eke out subtle suggestions of formal flux and volume from the various transparencies and opacities of a single spontaneous stroke…”.

Originally painted through the the pandemic, and first exhibited at Phillips, London in 2021, these meditative works capture Clarke’s activity during this turbulent time. Though visually appearing as poppies, Clarke calls his forms “vespers”. He explains, “Vespers comes from the Greek hespera, meaning evening – they are evening prayers.”

"The poppy itself intrigues me because it's so fragile, it's so vulnerable, it's so fleeting, and the color is full of the most kind of intense and majestic expression of being alive, however briefly that occurs."

The Vespers Book

Published in 2021, Vespers is a luminous hardback book showcasing the vast collection of over 500 watercolour poppies by British painter and architectural artist Sir Brian Clarke, featuring a preface by the artist and an introduction by renowned writer and art critic Robert Storr.

Learn more