Remembering Ed Clark Through His Ethereal Abstractions

Ed Clark, 'Untitled,' 1996-97, acrylic on canvas

Ed Clark, Untitled, 1996–97, acrylic on canvas.


Ed Clark, who created inventive abstract paintings throughout his 60-year career, has died at the age of 93. Clark had major shows at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit and in New York at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Mnuchin Gallery, Tilton Gallery, and Hauser & Wirth (which is currently presenting a solo show of the artist’s recent works). His art also figured in the traveling exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” which made stops at Tate Modern in London and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

[Read an obituary for Ed Clark]

Clark often used a broom to make his works; he began using this technique while living in Paris in the 1950s. “I started using it right away,” the artist once said, of a janitor’s broom he came across in his Montparnasse studio. He called this method “the big sweep,” and has described the process as akin to “cutting through everything. It’s also anger or something like it, to go through in a big sweep.”

View a selection of Clark’s paintings—with images provided by Mnuchin Gallery in New York and Weiss Berlin—in the slideshow below.

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