Brian Clarke. Life and Death
21 Nov 2010 – 3 July 2011
Brian Clarke, who in 1996 created the stained glass windows for the Cistercian Abbaye de la Fille Dieu in Romont, is one of the most renowned glass artists of our times. Working with some of the leading architects of the day, he has been involved in major projects such as the Pfizer headquarters in New York, the Al-Faisalia Complex in Riyadh, and more recently has realised the stained glass for the Gothic cathedral of Linköping, Sweden.
At the same time as his architectural works, Clarke creates independent stained glass around a particular theme. The exhibition Don’t Forget the Lamb shows important works by Brian Clarke over the last ten years, on the theme of ‘Life and Death’.
The death of his mother plunged Clarke into a deep reflection on the transience of life and the nature of memory. From this arose a series of works that are without comparison in contemporary stained glass: Clarke completely upturns the usual values of glass to lead, and reverses the importance of these materials, and of their relative lightness to darkness.
However, in contrast to these memento mori, colourful symbols of life are also present in this exhibition – especially the fleurs de lys of the great Glass Wall. This motif, taken from the windows of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, exemplifies the continual existence of the past in the present.
An exhibition catalogue is available, with texts by Brian Clarke and Stefan Trümpler.