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



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




Paintings - Sculptures, Hotel Falligan, Gent, Belgium


Clerk/Works, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris


The Long View, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

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

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

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

70 / 10, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux
Constructs, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux

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

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

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

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




Masterpieces, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico

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


The Past is the Past, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris
The Future is the Future, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

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

Campagnes/ Campagne, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux

My own private #2, The Snake, Paris

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

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

FIAC, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris

Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo
Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge

Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge

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

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

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

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

7th Biennial of Painting, Ottawa

EXPO 67, Montreal

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

Carnegie International, Pittsburgh

Venice Biennial

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

New Talent Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York



New Jersey State Council on Arts

1% for Art, City of Toledo

1% for Art, Alaska

Council on the Arts and Humanities

Blue Askew, Staten Island

Connecticut commision on the Arts

City Hall, Park Department, NYC

City Walls Mural, Public Art Fund, NYC



Pllack/Krasner Foundation Grant

New Jersey State Council on the Arts, outdoor sculpture commission

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

Canada Council Project Grant, Europe
USIA Exhibition Grant

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

Municipal Art Society Grant
United States Department Travel Grant

United States Information Service Exhibition Grant

Canadian Council Award



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
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