Brian Clarke (artist)

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Brian Clarke
Brian Clarke.jpg
Brian Clarke in his studio, 2011
Brian Clarke

(1953-07-02) 2 July 1953 (age 65)
Oldham, Lancashire, England
EducationOldham School of Arts and Crafts; North Devon College of Art
Known forPainting, stained glass, Gesamtkunstwerk, stage design
Pyramid of Peace and Reconciliation; Royal Mosque, King Khalid International Airport; Al Faisaliyah Center; Victoria Quarter, Leeds; Pfizer World Headquarters
TelevisionBrian Clarke: The Story So Far (1979); Time Lag Zero: Impressions of Brian Clarke (1980); Colouring Light: Brian Clarke - An Artist Apart (2011)
Spouse(s)Liz Finch (m.1972)
AwardsEuropa Nostra Award; Leeds Award for Architecture; Civic Trust Award

Brian Clarke (born 2 July 1953)[1] is a British stained glass artist and painter, known for his large scale stained glass projects, his work in architectural art, and collaborations with major figures in contemporary architecture.


Brian Clarke was born in Oldham, Lancashire, to Edward Ord Clarke, a coal miner, and Lilian Clarke (née Whitehead). In 1965, aged 12, he applied for a place as the last intake of an education scheme existing in the North of England to enable artistically promising children to leave their secondary school and become full-time art students,[2][3] and was accepted into Oldham School of Arts and Crafts on a scholarship.[4][5] In 1968 he and his family moved to Burnley, where he attended Burnley Art School, and in 1970 he enrolled in an architectural stained glass course at the North Devon College of Art and Design, where he went on to receive a first class distinction in their Diploma in Design.

In August 1972, he married his fellow art student Liz Finch, opened a stained glass studio in Preston,[6] and began to take on work, including picture restoring and repairing damaged ecclesiastical glass. This was followed by his first ecclesiastical commission, for a new window for Coppull Church, Lancashire,[6] in 1973, and his first secular stained glass commissions.[2]

In 1974 Clarke was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Travelling Fellowship[7] to study medieval and contemporary stained glass in Rome, Paris and West Germany, and in 1976 received the Churchill Extension Fellowship to study art and architecture in the United States.[8] The research from the two Churchill Trust Fellowships led to the Arts Council of Great Britain-funded exhibition ‘GLASS/LIGHT’, co-curated by Clarke and British war artist John Piper,[9] and produced the book Architectural Stained Glass.[10] In 1978, Clarke appeared on the cover of the Architectural Review, and in 1979 was the subject of a BBC Omnibus, Brian Clarke: The Story So Far.[11]

Brian Clarke is a visiting Professor of Architectural Art at University College London, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Honorary Doctor of Letters (University of Huddersfield), Honorary Doctor of Divinity (Virginia Theological Seminary), former Chairman of the Architecture Foundation,[12], Governor of the Capital City Academy Trust, Trustee and council member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Executor of the Estate of Zaha Hadid, and Sole Executor of the Estate of Francis Bacon.[1]


Interior view of Brian Clarke’s Stamford Cone (1999), a 14m high stained glass sculpture for the headquarters of UBS

Paintings, stained glass, screenprints, mosaic and tapestry by Clarke can be found in architectural settings and private and public collections internationally, including the Tate,[13] Victoria and Albert Museum, Seibu Museum of Art in Tokyo, and the Corning Museum of Glass, New York.[14]

Major works include the Foster and Partners-designed Pyramid of Peace and Accord in Kazakhstan[15], Al Faisaliyah Center in Riyadh, and Stanstead Airport; the Pfizer World Headquarters in New York; the Stamford Cone in Connecticut; windows for Linköping Cathedral in Sweden; the Papal Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature to Great Britain; the world’s largest stage sets (for Paul McCartney’s 1993 World Tour)[16] and both the largest stained glass work in Great Britain,[17][18] and the largest in the world.[19]

Other projects include ecclesiastical commissions in churches, mosques and synagogues (including the Darmstadt Holocaust Memorial) across Europe, the USA and the Middle East;[20] the glass exterior of ‘Le Grand Bleu’, the Hotel du Department des Bouches-du Rhone, Marseille (with Will Alsop); the Lake Sagami Country Club, Japan (with Arata Isozaki); stage sets for the Dutch National Ballet, and sets for an opera of The Crucible directed by Hugh Hudson; King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;[21] Norte Shopping, Rio de Janeiro; the Spindles Shopping Mall, Oldham;[22] the barrel-vaulted roof of Cavendish Arcade, Buxton;[23] the stained glass ceiling of Victoria Quarter, Leeds; windows for the 13th century Cistercian Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu, Romont, Switzerland; collaborations in stained glass with photographer Linda McCartney; and EP and album covers for The Human League, Paul McCartney, and EMI Classical.

He worked on designs for the Shard at London Bridge,[24], the Royal Ascot bandstand, and Crossrail.

Selected projects[edit]

  • Stained glass, Linköping Cathedral, Sweden, 3 windows, 2010[25]
  • Mosaic Path "From Life to Life, a Garden for George Harrison", Chelsea Flower Show, London, May, 2008
  • Stained glass and painting, Apax Partners, Jermyn Street, London, November 2007
  • Stained glass apex, Pyramid of Peace and Accord, Kazakhstan, 2005
  • Stained glass façade, Pfizer Inc, 42nd Street & 2nd Ave, New York, USA, 2001[26]
  • Stained glass wall, Al Faisaliyah Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2000
  • Stained glass façade and mosaic floor, Olympus, Hamburg, Germany, 2000
  • The Glass Wall stained glass window on permanent exhibition at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, 2000[26]
  • Stamford Cone, Stamford, CT, USA, 1999
  • Glass wall, nave of the Synagogue Offenbach, Offenbach, Germany, 1998
  • Stained glass windows, Catholic Church Maria Königin, Obersalbach (near Saarbrücken), Germany, 1998[26]
  • Chicago Sinai Synagogue, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1998
  • Stained glass and mosaic ceilings, NorteShopping, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1996[26]
  • Stained glass and mosaic ceiling, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Headquarters Building, New York, USA, 1996
  • Stained glass windows, Cisterian Abbaye de la Fille Dieu, Romont, Switzerland, 1995
  • Stained glass, North wall of the EAM Building, Kassel, Germany, 1994
  • Mosaic and stained glass windows and walls, Lowe SMS & Partners, The Grace Building, New York, USA, 1994[26]
  • Stained glass tower windows, España Telefónica, Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, 1992
  • Tapestries and stained glass, Carmelite, Carmelite Street, London, 1992[26]
  • Stained glass screen, Glaxo Pharmaceuticals, London, England, 1991[26]
  • Stained glass screens and tower, Stansted Airport, Stansted, Essex, England, 1991[26]
  • Spindles Shopping Center, Oldham, Greater Manchester, England, 1991
  • Stained glass, skylight of the Victoria Quarter, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, 1989
  • Stained glass, central lantern tower and skylights of the Lake Sagami Country Club, Yamanishi, Japan, 1988
  • Stained glass, Barrel vaulted roof of the Cavendish Arcade, Derbyshire, England, 1987
  • Stained glass, skylight and clerestory, main hall, library and office of the King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1982
  • Stained glass, Laver's & Barraud Building, Endell Street, London, 1981[26]
  • Paintings and stained glass, Lobby of Olympus Optical Europa GmbH, Headquarters Building, Hamburg, 1981[26]
  • Stained glass, Baptistery windows at St. Gabriel's Church, Blackburn, England, 1976[26]
  • Stained glass, East window of All Saints Church, Habergham, England, 1976[26]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • Brian Clarke: The Art of Light, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, United Kingdom, 2018
  • Brian Clarke: Spitfires and Primroses, PACE London, 2015.
  • Piper & Clarke. Stained Glass: Art or Anti-Art, The Verey Gallery and Eton College, Eton, 2014[27]
  • Between Extremities, Pace Gallery, New York, 2013[28]
  • The Quick and the Dead: New paintings by Brian Clarke, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Den Haag, Netherlands, 2011.[29]
  • Brian Clarke: Works on Paper 1969-2011, Phillips de Pury at the Saatchi Gallery, London, 2011[30]
  • Lamina, Gagosian Gallery, London, 2005[31]
  • Brian Clarke: Transillumination, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York; 2002[32]
  • Flowers for New York: A tribute to New York in Stained Glass and Painting on Canvas, The Corning Gallery, New York, 2002.[31]
  • Fashion Acts, exhibition and auction of photographs initiated to help people affected by HIV/AIDS (sponsored by Olympus), Mulberry, Bond Street, London, 2000.
  • The Glass Wall (Dedicated to Linda McCartney), Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA, 1998[33]
  • Brian Clarke - Linda McCartney, Musée Suisse du Vitrail, Romont, Switzerland; Deutsche Glasmalerei-Museum, Linnich, Germany, 1998[33]
  • Images of Christ, Northampton Museum and St. Paul's Cathedral, London, 1993[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Designs on Architecture, Oldham Art Gallery, Oldham, 1993[33]
  • Architecture and the Sacred Space in the Modern Age (with architect Alfred Jacoby), Venice Biennale, 1993[33]
  • Addressing the Forbidden, Brighton Festival, Brighton; Stills Gallery, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, 1992[33]
  • Light and Architecture (in collaboration with Future Systems), Ingolstadt, Germany, 1992[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Into and Out of Architecture, The Mayor Gallery, London, 1990[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Architecture and Stained Glass, Sezon Museum of Art, Annex Tokyo, Tokyo, 1990[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Paintings, The Indar Pasricha Gallery, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India; Pyrri Art Centre, Savolinna, Finland, 1989[33]
  • Die Architektur der Synagoge (Architecture of the Synagogue), Deutsches Architekturmuseum (German Architecture Museum), Frankfurt, Germany, 1988[33]
  • Brian Clarke, Malerei und Farbfenster 1977 - 1988, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, Germany, 1988[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Paintings, 1976 - 1986, Seibu Museum of Art, Ikebukuro, Tokyo; Yao Seibu Exhibition Hall, Yao, Osaka, 1987[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Stained Glass, Seibu Museum of Art, Yurakacho, Tokyo, 1986[33]
  • Black/White (with Jean-Michel Basquiat), Robert Fraser Gallery, London, 1983[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Paintings, opening exhibition of the Robert Fraser Gallery, London, 1983[33]
  • Brian Clarke - Serigraphien und Mosaik, Franz Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt, Munich, Germany, 1982[33]
  • British Stained Glass, Centre International de Vitrail, Chartres, France, 1982[33]
  • Brian Clarke: New Paintings, Constructions and Prints (with the Robert Fraser Gallery), Royal Institute of British Architects, London, 1981[33]
  • GLASS/LIGHT (with John Piper and Marc Chagall), Festival of the City of London, 1979[33]
  • Brian Clarke: Glass Art One, Mid-Pennine Arts Association, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1975[33]


  • Brian Clarke: WORK, Steidl Verlag, 2008. ISBN 978-3-86521-633-5
  • Brian Clarke: Lamina, Gagosian Gallery, 2005. ISBN 1-932598-18-9
  • Brian Clarke: Transillumination, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 2002. ISBN 1-891475-22-3
  • Brian Clarke: Projects, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1998. ISBN 978-1-891475-13-9
  • Brian Clarke: Architectural Artist, Academy Editions, 1994. ISBN 1-85490-343-8
  • Brian Clarke by Martin Harrison, Quartet Books, 1981. ISBN 0-7043-2281-1
  • Architectural Stained Glass by Brian Clarke, Architectural Record Books, 1979. ISBN 0-07-011264-9



  1. ^ a b "Brian Clarke, Esq". Debrett’s. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17.
  2. ^ a b Harrison, Martin (1981). Brian Clarke. London: Quarter Books. ISBN 0704322811..
  3. ^ "The Two Cultures: Brian Clarke and Zaha Hadid in conversation". Tate. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  4. ^ Holledge, Richard (10 August 2018). "The luminous stained glass of Brian Clarke". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Brian Clarke: rock star of stained glass". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Pope artist's lucky break". The Garstang Courier. Preston. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Brian Clarke: rock star of stained glass". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  8. ^ Clarke, Brian (1979). Architectural Stained Glass. USA: McGraw-Hill. p. 153. ISBN 071953657X.
  9. ^ Harrison, Martin (1978). GLASS/LIGHT. England: The City Arts Trust Limited. p. 24. ISBN 0704322811.
  10. ^ "Brian Clarke's Story". Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  11. ^ Diana Lashmore (15 March 1979). Brian Clarke: The Story So Far (film) (TV documentary). England: BBC TV. 132930.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Brian Clarke". Tate. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Brian Clarke: Summer Solstice Screens" (PDF) (Press release). London: HENI. BLAH PR. June 2017. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-26. Retrieved 2006-10-18.
  16. ^ Stained Glass Sourcebook. Quarry Books. April 2004. p. 253. ISBN 1592530346. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Victoria Quarter". Visit England. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  18. ^ Mitchell, Emily (28 November 1996). "Let there be light–and color". Time Magazine. Time.
  19. ^ "Al-Faisaliah Center". Protenders. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Stained Glass, From Churches to Malls". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  21. ^ King Khalid International Airport Masjid (Mosque), Riyadh (Riad), Saudi Arabia' Archived November 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Spindel Shopping Mall, Oldham, UK[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Cavendish Arcade, Buxton
  24. ^ 'Jane Shilling's TV Choice - Summary, Evening Standard, 17 October 2011
  25. ^ David Jenkins, Brian Clarke: Rock Star of Stained Glass, The Telegraph, 8 September 2010
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Atlantes and Astragals: Works by Brian Clarke (exhibition catalogue), Christie's London, 2011
  27. ^ Fraser Jenkins, David; Harrison, Martin; Meredith, Michael; Waldegrave, William. Piper & Clarke. Stained Glass: Art or Anti-Art (exhibition catalogue), The Verey Gallery, Eton College, 2014
  28. ^ Brian Clarke, Between Extremities, Pace Gallery, New York
  29. ^
  30. ^ Crichton-Miller, Emma. The Great Glass Elevator. In The Journal of Stained Glass, Vol. XXXIV, British Society of Master Glass Painters, 2011, pp132-138. ISBN 1-891475-22-3.
  31. ^ a b Brian Clarke: Lamina (exhibition catalogue), Gagosian Gallery, London, 2005.
  32. ^ Brian Clarke: Transillumination (exhibition catalogue), Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 2002. ISBN 1-891475-22-3.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Exhibitions and Projects" (list). In Foster, Norman; Frantz, Susanne K; Clarke, Brian. Brian Clarke: Projects, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, 1998. ISBN 1-891475-13-4.

External links[edit]