John Clem Clarke

American, born 1937

Bacchanale, 1970

  • Not On View

Acrylic on canvas

Dimensions: 75 × 188 in. (190.5 × 477.5 cm)

Purchased from OK Harris Gallery, NYC by friends of FIA, 1970.30

John Clem Clarke's art has strong conceptual links with Pop Art, particularly with the work of Roy Lichtenstein. Using photographs as the basic structure for his abstract concerns, he has chosen to paint an eclectic, even bizarre, range of images only because he is basically not interested in their content. Clarke places contemporary figures in a classical setting, making it obvious that the crucial point is not the story, but rather the relationship of his subjects to their previous representations.Like other photo-realists, he has been more interested in the photographic quality of the image that he works from. The character of the forms reflects both the distortions inherent in the commercial reproductions that he works from, and his working method. He is not principally interested in replication but in the process of transposing reality onto a two-dimensional surface. Additionally, in creating an object so close in appearance to its original, Clarke raises basic questions about the meaning and identity of reality.

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