Pierre Clerk (1928) is an americain artist who lives and works in New York and France. He draws his artistic references from the «painting with scissors» collage works by Matisse, the cubism of Picasso, the forms of Brancusi and van Doesburg and the Neo-Plasticism movement driven by Mondrian.

Actively part of the New York buzzing artistic scene in the 1970?s, Pierre Clerk?s singular works are based on a very personal spatially graphic language - often going against the current of the contemporary trends of his time. While at the end of 1960?s abstract expressionist painters triumph, Pierre Clerk focused on an rational approach.

And if the work of the artist is much more purely formal than that of Leger for example, for whom he has a profound admiration, he retains from the master?s research the interest for colour that is at the same time volume, form, and capable of transforming bodies into cogs of the great chromatic mechanics of a work.

The painter looks to multiply and diffract plans. If Clerk is touched by Newman or Rothko?s painting, it is not for the expressivity of their gesture, but for their ability to play on depth by working on colour.

Known as a painter because revealed that way by MOMA?s 9th New Talent exhibition in 1956, his geometrical abstraction can also be found in his sculptures which
play trompe-l?oeil style or molecular structures in the 2000?s and sometimes reach monumental proportions. Two major installations led this evolution in his work : Waterside Plaza (1977), supported by New York Public Art Council realized in Manhattan?s East River and City Candy (1983), Toledo, Ohio.

Paterns echos from paintings to sculptures giving the work an autonomous architectural identity.

Pierre Clerk
Born in 1928 in Atlanta
Lives and works in France and in New York


EDUCATION
McGill University, Montreal
School of Art & Design, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


SOLO SHOWS              
2017
Clerk/Works, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

2014
The Long View, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE

2013
Peintures, Sérigraphies, Sculptures, Salle des Dominicains, Saint Emilion
Pierre Clerk, Château Canon La Gaffelière
Driven to abstraction, Musée Gajac, Villeneuve sur Lot

2012
Pierre Clerk : out of his mind, Galerie Crone, Berlin
Pierre Clerk : out of his mind, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2011
Pierre Clerk : couleurs, formes, espaces, Base Sous Marine, Bordeaux

2010
70 / 10, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2009
Constructs, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2003
Pierre Clerk, Aurelio Atefanini, Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Florence

1978
Cutout Reliefs, Recent Sculptures, DiLaurenti Gallery, New York
Oeuvres Recentes, Canadian Cultural Center, Paris
Paintings, Tapestries, Graphics, Part I & II, traveling exhibit
Pierre Clerk, The American Center in Tehran
Pierre Clerk, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manila
Pierre Clerk, The Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong

1977
Pierre Clerk at Waterside, The Monumental Outdoor Sculpture Program, Public Art fund, New York
Pierre Clerk, The Everson Museum of Art, New York

1976
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse
Arts Center, Pueblo
Selected Works, Square One Gallery
Gallery Moos, Montreal
Gimpel Weitzenhoffer, New York
Gimpel Hanover, Zurich, Gimpel Fils, London
Siegelaub Gallery, New York
Il Cavallino Galleria, Venice
Cittadella Gallery, Ascona
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal
Beno Gallery, Zurich
New Gallery, New York
Galleria Totti, Milan
Numero Galleria, Florence


GROUP SHOWS

2017
FIAC,
Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Grand Palais, Paris, France

2016
The Past is the Past, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
The Future is the Future, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE

2014
Quelque chose à vous dire, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Présentation des nouvelles acquisitions, Artothèque, Villeurbanne

2013
Campagnes/ Campagne, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2012
My own private #2, The Snake, Paris

2011
Il est si doux..., Cortex Athletico, Château Giscours, Margaux - exhibition views HERE
Artbrussels 2011, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Atheltico, Brussels

2010
Armory Show, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, New York
Matériaux divers et autres bonnes nouvelles, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux - exhibition views HERE

2009
FIAC, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

1990
Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo
Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge

1988
Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge

1987
Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge
Zack/Shuster Gallery, Boca Raton
D. Erlien Fine Art, Milwaukee
Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands
Kauffman Galeries, Houston
Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham
Katharina Perlow Gallery, New York

1981
Chicago International Art Exposition, Sculpture 81 (outdoor), Philadelphia
Sculpture on Shoreline Sites (outdoor), Fordham University-Lincoln Center, New York

1976
Bicentennial Banners, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington
Spectrum Canada, Montreal
British International Print Biennial, Bradford
Painting & Sculpture Today, Indianapolis Museum of Art

1971
New Acqusitions, Whitney Museum, New York
ROSC Modern Graphics, Waterford
Rosc 71, International Exhibition of Modern Art, Dublin

1968
7th Biennial of Painting, Ottawa

1967
EXPO 67, Montreal

1962
Biennial of Art, Ottawa
Canadian Pavillon, World Fair, Brussels

1959
Carnegie International, Pittsburgh

1958
Venice Biennial

1956
Venice Biennial
Art Gallery of Toronto
New Acquisitions, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1955
New Talent Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York


PROJECTS
1989
New Jersey State Council on Arts

1983
1% for Art, City of Toledo

1987
1% for Art, Alaska

1986
Council on the Arts and Humanities

1982-86
Blue Askew, Staten Island

1984
Connecticut commision on the Arts

1982
City Hall, Park Department, NYC

1975
City Walls Mural, Public Art Fund, NYC


GRANTS
1990
Pllack/Krasner Foundation Grant

1989
New Jersey State Council on the Arts, outdoor sculpture commission

1983
Toledo, Ohio, Art in Public Places, outdoor sculpture commission

1980
Canada Council Project Grant, Europe
USIA Exhibition Grant

1978
State Department Lecture Grant, Far East
Public Arts council of Municipal Art Society of NYC
Tamarind Institute Visiting Fellow, Abuquerque
Canada Council Travel Grant
Florsheim Foundation Grant

1977
Municipal Art Society Grant
United States Department Travel Grant

1972
United States Information Service Exhibition Grant

1971
Canadian Council Award


COLLECTIONS
Artothèque du Limousin, Limoges
AT&T Co., New Jersey
Atlantic-Richfield, Avon
Brooklyn Museum
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
Chemical Bank, New York
City of Toledo
Conitnental Bank, Chicago
Department of External Affairs, Canada
Eissner Collection, Marblehead
First Wisconsin Banks, Milwaukee & Madison
Glasgow Art Museum, Glasgow
Gulf Oil Corps, Pittsburgh
Guggenheim, New York
IBM
John D. Rockefeller III, New York
Kennedy International Airport, New York
Les arts au mur, Artothèque de Pessac
Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., New York
Marine Midland Bank, New York
McCrory Corp., New York
Mobil Oil Corps., New York
MoMA, New York
Museum of contemporary art, Montreal
Museum of contemporary art, Teheran
Museum of Quebec, Quebec
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
National gallery, Washington
New Mexico University, Albuquerque
New York University, New York
New York National Gallery of Art
Philip Morris Inc., New York & Richmond
Port Authority, New York & New Jersey
RCA, New York
Saul Steinberg, New York
US Steel Corp.
Whitney Museum, New York

I come from a line of architects, so geometry is in my blood.  But I don?t like the ordered geometry of architects.  I like the shapes and forms that play against each other.
There?s a game in the United States called Pick-up Sticks.  They?re like chopsticks and they come in different colors.  

The point is to throw them on the floor and pull them out one-by-one without disturbing any of the others.  But I don?t care about picking them up.  I like the angles they make when they?re jumbled all together.

The angles are endless.  They have depth and substance.  They fill up with color, or the color stays on the outlines.

I never envision a painting or a print before I start.  I never model a sculpture.
What I essentially do is go out every day and throw down Pick-up Sticks.

Curiosity is the motor.

In the words of Jasper Johns, «As one gets older one sees many more paths that could be taken.»

«Screwing things up is a virtue.  Being correct is never the point.»  Robert Rauschenberg

Andy Warhol:  «Don?t think about making art, just get it done.  Let everyone else decide if it?s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it.  While they are deciding, make even more art.»

Pablo Picasso:  «If I don?t have red, I use blue.»

Michelangelo:  «If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.»

Mondrian:  «Everything is expressed through relationship.»

Woody Allen:  «If you?re not failing every now and again, it?s a sign you?re not doing anything innovative.»


Pierre Clerk, November 2017