Geoffrey Clarke : Sculptures and Prints

2 - 24 March 2017

Between 1969 and 1972 Geoffrey Clarke had visions of intervening in the landscape and building monumental pieces. This display includes a group of the maquettes he made, many of which are unique. One of the final works in the series, Landscape Re-Investigation - Blueprint One - Contrast not Conflict, made of gravel and steel, was exhibited at the 1971 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. It was made on a grand scale and combines characteristics of both land and conceptual art.


Earlier pieces made of iron reflect his idea of Man, the artist’s principal subject during the 1950s. He developed this theme while still a student at the Royal College of Art, however there were no facilities for welding at the college, so Geoffrey went on a course run by British Oxygen where he met the sculptor Lynn Chadwick. He used an old Ministry of Works hut behind Imperial College as his studio to work in iron.


The prints he made in 1950 plainly show his wish to make sculpture: a work in two dimensions could scarcely be more sculptural than some of these. The year was one of extraordinary and intense creativity. It was at about this time that Geoffrey Clarke was engaged by the architect Basil Spence, at the suggestion of Robin Darwin, Principal of the Royal College of Art, to work on the new Cathedral for Coventry.