Brian Clarke - Vespers

Brian Clarke - Vespers

5 August – 10 September 2021


Brian Clarke: Vespers, a spectacular exhibition of watercolours and mixed media works on paper by renowned stained-glass artist Brian Clarke, is on show at the Phillips gallery in London from 5 August 10 September 2021. Works in the exhibition are available for purchase through the HENI Leviathan online platform.

The heart of the exhibition consists of more than 500 poppy-themed watercolours that together transform the gallery into a vibrant field of flowers. Clarke drew inspiration from memories of sowing poppy seeds with his close friend Linda McCartney in roadside fields in East Sussex during the 1980s.

Clarke refers to these poppies as "vespers". The term, referencing evening prayer in Christian liturgy, takes on new meaning as it represents Clarke's artistic practice, often producing these works at night, as well as the artist’s intimate reflections during the act of making. The watercolours capture the dynamic essence of flowers through fluid splashes of colour and explosive backgrounds. The poppy imagery transcends abstraction, revealing emotionally charged works that alternately manifest expressions like joy or sadness.

Beginning in Seville in 2019 and completed in London during the 2020 UK lockdown, the ‘Vespers’ series showcases Clarke's artistic and emotional evolution in this period. As the pandemic influenced his work, infestation-like black forms and incorporated materials such as masks and newspapers found their way into the ‘Vespers’, communicating deep emotions of fear, horror, and loss.

The exhibition coincides with the release of a comprehensive illustrated monograph by HENI Publishing. The monograph, featuring the entire ‘Vespers’ series, includes an introduction by esteemed art historian Robert Storr. This collaboration between Phillips and HENI also extends to the HENI Leviathan website, where the ‘Vespers’ series is on sale for a limited time, from 1 to 10 September, offering collectors the chance to own a piece of Brian Clarke's intimate series.

Exhibition dates: 5 August – 10 September 2021
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 6pm
Location: Phillips, 30 Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6EX
Admission: Free