Brian Clarke

Brian Clarke

Vespers

Vespers


HENI is delighted to present Vespers by Brian Clarke, a series of over 500 vivid watercolour paintings on Velin Arches paper.

Vespers appear at first glance to be a series of poppies, with thin green lines and vivid splashes of red clustering on a blank background. Emerging from the artist’s memories of roadside poppy fields, the flowers quickly assume more abstract, changeable forms, almost resembling butterflies swarming, alighting and lifting off again, generating in each image a uniquely flickering, chromatically vibrating kinesis.

In a collaboration between HENI and Phillips, the debut exhibition of Clarke’s entire Vesper series of watercolours went on view at the Phillips' London galleries from 5 August to 10 September 2021.

About Sir Brian Clarke


Brian Clarke is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work over the past five decades spans a wide range of genres and mediums. Widely considered the most important artist working in stained glass today, he has revolutionised the medium not only technologically but also philosophically, pushing the boundaries of what it can achieve. Equally important is his pictorial practice, explored in painting, sculpture, lead work, mosaic, drawing, collage and tapestry.

Still, Clarke's primary medium is light itself. His art is imbued with tradition but it is also radically inventive and reconsiders mainstream notions of what his various practices can achieve. Through them, Clarke interrogates the extremes of transparency and opacity, light and dark, absence and presence, and order and chaos. His unique and radical approach has earned him numerous awards and honours, and his artworks have been shown in prestigious collections and institutions worldwide such as The Victoria and Albert Museum, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Corning Museum of Glass New York and Tate London. To learn more about Brian Clarke and his work, visit his official website here.

On view at Phillips

Merging form and abstraction through interactions with light and colour, the poppies are in a state of constant transformation, engendered by the gentle chromatic effusions of watercolour. Through Clarke’s skilful hand, this medium captures the flowers’ feeling of diaphanous membrane. The liquid essence of watercolour is reminiscent of the transilluminating qualities of stained glass, a medium that Clarke has consistently elevated throughout his practice.

The entire Vespers series of watercolours were on view at the Phillips' London galleries from 5 August to 10 September 2021.

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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.

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