notes from the hamptons, 2005

commentary

Though I have known Ron Clark’s family for three generations and him all his life, my familiarity with his work actually occurred slowly and deliberately, as knowing an artist personally does not automatically make one aware of the impact or message of that artist's work.

Alexander Calder, whom I befriended in 1949, was a stout, overweight, earth-bound creature who seemingly had nothing whimsical or 'mobile' about him; Rene Magritte, a friend of mine in both Paris and Brussels in the early 60's, was an ultra-conservative bourgeois who painted many of his magical and inexplicable pieces in a rather formal upstairs guest bedroom, his easel on a plastic drop cloth.

I find myself similarly surprised and taken by the thought process and mental secrets from which Ron's work emerges. He skillfully abstracts his visionary ideas into masterfully painted canvases, though the magic behind his art defies definition and eludes explanation. I also rather imagine he doesn’t really give a damn whether we like the results or not. Thus if there are those who do not understand or comprehend his work now, it matters little; those of another generation will. Or as the French say, “Tant pis.” Either you get it or you don’t

 

Click here for essay on Harold Stevenson, authored by Ron Clark

haroldtalking2

Harold Stevenson is an internationally acclaimed artist and writer who was an icon of the European avant garde and later a significant figure in the Pop Art movement alongside Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claus Oldenburg, George Segal and others. His work is held in some of the world’s most prestigious collections, and in 2005 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York added to its permanent collection Stevenson’s landmark painting, ‘The New Adam,’ an 8' x 40' oil considered by art scholars and historians as a seminal work in the history of American art. In 2008, Stevenson’s ‘Eye of Lightning Billy’ was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and will be added to their renowned Pop Art collection.