Pierre Clerk - Constructs

Pierre Clerk (1928) draws his artistic references from the elementary and universal forms of Brancusi and the cubism of Picasso, and is especially influenced by Theo van Doesburg and the Neo-Plasticism movement driven by Mondrian. He also retains the «painting with scissors» collage works by Matisse.
Pierre Clerk then appropriates the main artistic trends of his time (Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Post Minimalism, and Conceptual art), selecting in particular the writings of Barnett Newman and his proposals on the subject of the spontaneous gesture. The artist integrates these notions into his practice, producing precise and rigorous paintings.
Pierre Clerk's singular works are based on a very personal linear and graphic language, often going against the current of the contemporary trends of his time. His powerful and structured works are not divested of movement or progress. His spatially graphic representations sometimes reach monumental proportions. The forms he uses are strictly geometrical. The horizontal and vertical lines, the curves and counter curves, impose and balance themselves in a relationship of volume and colour. These rational organizations of geometrical elements result in paintings of an objective nature.
While at the end of 1960's abstract expressionist painters triumph, Pierre Clerk further imposes his vision. His geometrical abstraction eliminates any trace of pictorial content, any suggestion of an emotional relationship between the artist and his work. His artistic vocabulary evolves through works that are minimalist, monumental and modern.

Arnaud Dubois