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CLIVE BARKER

WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST . JAMES’S LO N D O N S W 1 Y 6 B N TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FAX.+44(0)20 7930 5577 info@whitfordfinear t.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m


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CLIVE BARKER POP NOW!

4 June – 3 July 2009

WHITFORD F I N E A R T

6 DUKE STREET ST. JAMES’S LONDON SW1Y 6BN TEL. +44 (0)20 7930 9332 EMAIL info@whitfordfineart.com www.whitfordfineart.com


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Clive Barker in his studio, 2009


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POP NOW!

Nearly five decades after emerging as a P op Artist, Clive Barker continues to make sculptures characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture. Today, as then Barker’s art sets out to reflect its own time. Icons of advertising, comic books and mundane cultur al objects are removed from their context and typically isolated, combined or transformed for contemplation by the viewer. The ever-present ad-mass culture has seen to it that Pop Art has held its plac e and remains an exciting, vigorous art movement. Barker’s 1960’s work by and large celebrated the possibilities and freedoms of a transformed society, segmented in chrome-plated bronze casts of the everyday, the banal or kitsch elements of our culture, often through the use of irony. Whereas Barker’s recent use of polished bronze revives the manufactured, shiny and new gift-wrapped feeling of his 1960’s chrome plated objects, his present iconography is charged with a different content, as it contemplates and investigates the outcome of mass-consumerism proclaimed as the way forward during the heyday of Pop.

Jelly Bean Machine and American Payphone No. 2 nostalgically embody instant gratification attained by putting a coin in a slot. Cast in bronze, these objects are transformed into ineffective machines of indulgence, whereby money can’t buy what one desir es in a society that s tarts to look beyond consumerism for happiness. Spanners captures the es sence of the har d manual labour which laid at the r oot of the pos t-war economic growth. At present, these tools which Barker associates with his time at V auxhall Motors during 1960-61 symbolize an industry now in trouble. In Still Life with Mushrooms, Napoleon and a Mouse and in Twin Napoleons, the epic of an influential historical leader is replaced with the banal, which is awarded the same significance as the unique.Thus Barker seems to evoke the present mistrust of politicians.

Magritte’s Hat, the latest in Barker’s series of ‘homages’ started in 1968, shows a bowler hat topped with a crescent moon, two icons of the surr ealist painter but today a possible allusion to the evergrowing cultural influence of the Middle East. Shown for the first time since its creation just months before the fatal events of 9/11 is SAFELY DOWN!. The culmination of tw o years working with Superman imagery, Bark er had unwittingl y made a reference to a horrifying act of major his torical importance. This work, amongst others, brings back direct experience and primary emotion, which P op Art always rejected. The introduction of this subtle transformation of an original Pop Art principle allows Barker to bridge the 1960s to the present day. An Jo Fermon, June 2009


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1

Double Agent

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SAFELY DOWN! That Was a Job for SUPERMAN!

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Napoleon Twins

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For Rose XXX

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William Nicholson's Brushes

6

American Payphone No. 2

7

Spanners

8

Jelly Bean Machine No. 2

9

Magritte’s Hat

10

Still Life with Mushrooms, Napoleon and a Mouse

11

Handbag

12

Breakfast

WORKS


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1 Double Agent 2001 Polished white and yellow bronze 14.7 x 11.2 cm 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in Unique


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2 SAFELY DOWN! That Was a Job for SUPERMAN! 2001 Polished bronze 200 cm long and 100 cm wide 78 3/4 in long and 39 1/2 in wide Unique


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2 SAFELY DOWN! That Was a Job for SUPERMAN! 2001 Polished bronze 200 cm long and 100 cm wide 78 3/4 in long and 39 1/2 in wide Unique


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3 Napoleon Twins 2007 Polished bronze 34.3 cm high and 41 cm wide 13 1/2 in high and 16 1/8 in wide Edition of 3


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4 For Rose XXX 1969 – 2008 Silver-plated bronze 29.8 cm high 11 3/4 in high Edition of 6 1 A/P

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5 William Nicholson's Brushes 2008 Copper-plated bronze and polished bronze 48.3 cm high 19 in high Unique


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6 American Payphone No. 2 2008 Polished bronze 46.3 x 21.3 x 15.9 cm 18 1/8 x 8 3/8 x 6 1/4 in Unique


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7 Spanners 2009 Polished bronze 9.2 cm high and 30.5 cm long 3 5/8 in high and 12 in long Unique


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8 Jelly Bean Machine No. 2 2007 Polished bronze 28 cm high and 30.5 cm diamet er 11 in high and 12 in diamet er Unique EXHIBITED: 2008, Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London


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9 Magritte’s Hat 2008 Bronze with black patina and polished bronze 23.5 x 28.5 x 24 cm 9 1/4 x 11 1/4 x 9 7/16 in Edition of 6 1 A/P


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10 Still Life with Mushrooms, Napoleon and a Mouse 2007 Polished bronze 36.8 x 47 x 30.5 cm 14 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 12 in Unique


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11 Handbag 2009 Polished bronze and red perspex 38 x 30.5 x 22 cm 15 x 12 x 8 5/8 in Unique


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12 Breakfast 2009 Polished bronze 26.7 x 35.5 x 45.7 cm 10 1/2 x 14 x 18 in Unique

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Biography and Exhibitions 1940

1957-59 Trained as a painter at Luton College of Technology and Art. Developed a particular interest in the painting of Cézanne, Picasso, Soutine and Van Gogh, which would later be expressed in his sculpture. An unsympathetic sculpture teacher discouraged his interest in the subject. 1960-61 Worked on the assembly line at Vauxhall Motors, Luton, for a period of fifteen months. Working with chrome plated and leather upholstered car parts would later prove to be a formative experience. Imagined making art as consumer goods, the product of co-ordinated cooperation between specialist craftsmen. 1961

1962

Sculptors’, an exhibition circulated by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Born in Luton.

Moved to London. Started concentrating on making objects. Using corrugated cardboard, fabricated a series of five targets, realising his own versions of this Pop Art icon. First use of neon. First use of the zip image in Three Zips, silkscreen on canvas. Included in ‘Young Contemporaries’, RBA Galleries, London.

1969

One-man show at the Hanover Gallery. Included in ‘Pop Art’, Hayward Gallery, London, and in ‘Young and Fantastic’, ICA, London.

1970

The Tate Gallery, London, purchased Splash (1967). Included in ‘British Sculpture out of the Sixties’, ICA, London,

1971

First references to Classical Greek sculpture. Second visit to New York. First show at Baukunst Galerie, Cologne.

1973-74 War Heads, series of six gas masks and skulls. 1973

Included in a group shows at Baukunst-Galerie, Cologne.

1974

One-man show at Anthony d’Offay, London. Included in a group show at Baukunst-Galerie, Cologne.

1976

Mannheim Kunsthalle purchased Portrait of Madame Magritte (1970-73).

1963

First leather-upholstered objects and first Pop works.

1977

Included in ‘British Artists of the 60’s’, Tate Gallery, London.

1964

First casts in bronze and aluminium. Two Palettes for Jim Dine, a homage to the American whose paintings Barker had seen at the Robert Fraser Gallery, marked the beginning of the use of chr ome plating. Included in ‘118 Show’, Kasmin Gallery, London.

1978

Made a series of twelve bronze and brass studies of Francis Bacon. ‘One-man show’ at Felicity Samuel Gallery, London. The Arts Council purchased Study of Francis Bacon, No.1 (1978).The Aberdeen Art Gallery purchased Study of Francis Bacon, No.6 (1978).

1965

Tutor at Maidstone School of Art.

1980

1966

First visit to New York. Cast Coke with Teat, a first in a series of Coke bottles. Included in ‘New Idioms’, Robert Fraser Gallery, London.

The Imperial War Museum, London purchased German Head ‘42 (1974).

1981

Made a group of portrait heads of friends, including Eduardo Paolozzi and Marianne Faithfull. Included in ‘British Sculpture in the 20th Century’, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.

1967

1968

Included ‘Tribute to Robert Fraser’, Robert Fraser Gallery, and in ‘Englische Kunst’, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich. One-man show at the Robert Fraser Gallery. Included in ‘Works from 1956 to 1967 by Clive Barker, Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton, Jann Howarth and Colin Self’, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, and in ‘British Artists: 6 Painters, 6

1981-82 Retrospective exhibition at Sheffield City Art Galleries, touring Stoke, Eastbourne and Cheltenham. Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, purchased Helmet (1973). Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield purchased Way Out (Brown Exit) (1963-64). The Imperial War Museum acquired the War Heads (1973-74) series.


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1983

One-Man show of War Heads at Imperial War Museum, London. Included in ‘BlackWhite’ at Robert Fraser Gallery, London.

1984

Included in ‘British Pop Art’ at Robert Fraser Gallery, London.

1985

Exhibition of Boxes, a series of thirty-five sculptural scenes placed in wooden boxes (executed 1972 -85) at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

1986

The Contemporary Art Society purchased Study of Francis Bacon, No.7 (1978), for Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. Included in ‘Forty Years of Modern Art 19451985’, Tate Gallery, London.

1987

One-man show of Barker’s portrait drawings (executed 1983-87) and sculptures, at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Included in ‘Pop Art U.S.A.-U.K.: American and British Artists of the ‘60s in the ‘80s’, Odakyu Grand Gallery, Tokyo, touring Osaka, Funabashi and Yokohama.

1988

The National Portrait Gallery, London, acquires the gold leaf version of Life Mask of Francis Bacon (1969).

1990

Returned to Classical Greek subject matter.

1991

Included in ‘Pop Art’, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.

1992

Commenced a group of still-lifes presented on cast iron tables. With Gold Coke returned to the theme of the Coke bottle.

1993

The City of Luton commissioned Elephant for Luton. Included in ‘The Sixties Art Scene in London’, Barbican Art Gallery, London.

1995

Returned to the subject matter of Cubism with two Cubist still-lifes. Included in ‘Post-War to Pop’, Whitford Fine Art, London.

1996

The Berardo Foundation acquired Homage to Soutine (1969) for the Sintra Museum of Modern Art, Lisbon.

1997

Included in ‘Pop Art’, Norwich Castle Museum, in ‘Les Sixties: Great Britain and France 1962-1973,

The Utopian Years’, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, and in ‘The Pop ‘60s: Transatlantic Crossing’, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon. 1998

Further reference to classical sculpture is found in Helmets; a new series of still-lifes incorporates fruit, shells and breads. Box Camera and Flash anticipated a group of eight camera sculptures executed in 1999. Space Pilot X-Ray Gun , Dalek, Darth Vader and Light Sabre highlight Barker’s love of the science fiction series ‘Dr Who’ and ‘Star Wars’. Included in ‘Modern British Art’ at Tate Gallery, Liverpool.

2000

With The Last Coke Bottle , Barker drew a line under this seminal subject of his visual v ocabulary. One-man show at Whitford Fine Art, London.

2001

Commenced Alphabet and a new series of still-lifes. Showed in ‘Pop Art: U.S./U.K. Connections 19561966’, The Menil Collection, Houston (Texas). The Berardo Foundation acquired Fridge (1999) for the Sintra Museum of Modern Art, Lisbon.

2003

One-man show at Whitford Fine Art, London to coincide with the publication of a catalogue raisonné.

2004

One-man show at Arte e Arte, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna. Showed in ‘Pop Art UK: British Pop Art 1956-1972’, the Galleria Civica and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, and in Art & the 60’s. This was Tomorrow , Tate Britain, London.

2005

Showed in ‘British Pop’, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao.

2006

One-man show at Whitford Fine Art. One-man show at Galerie Markus Winter, Berlin.

2008

Showed in ‘Post-War to Pop’, Whitford Fine Art., London. Included in ‘Triptyque: Art Contemporain Angers, France. Exhibited at the ‘Summer Exhibition’, Royal Academy of Arts, London.

2008-09 Included in ‘Supermarket Pop: Art & Consumerism’, Wolverhampton Art Gallery. 2008-10 Included in ‘Unpopular Culture Grayson Perry selects from the Arts Council Collection’, touring exhibition, UK. Clive Barker lives and works in London.


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All unique works are signed, dated and titled; all editioned works are signed, dated, titled and numbered Front cover: detail of Magritte’s Hat (cat. no. 9)

All works © Whitford Fine Art Introduction and research by An Jo Fermon Produced by Artmedia Press Ltd • London


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BARKER09 Covers

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CLIVE BARKER

WHITFORD F I N E A R T 6 DUKE STREET ST . JAMES’S LO N D O N S W 1 Y 6 B N TEL.+44(0)20 7930 9332 FAX.+44(0)20 7930 5577 info@whitfordfinear t.com w w w. w h i t f o r d f i n e a r t . c o m


POP NOW! Recent Works by Clive Barker  

Nearly five decades after emerging as a Pop Artist, Clive Barker continues to make sculptures characterized by themes and techniques drawn f...

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