Brian Clarke: The Art of Light at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), September 17, 2020 – February 21, 2021

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) presents a major exhibition works by celebrated architectural artist and painter Brian Clarke (b. 1953, United Kingdom). The first museum exhibition in the U.S. of Clarke’s stained-glass screens, compositions in lead, and related drawings on paper, Brian Clarke: The Art of Light showcases the most considerable artistic and technical breakthrough in the thousand-year history of stained glass.

“There is a world that can only be seen through stained glass. It is like no other. The range of experience I can deliver through it is greater than anything I’ve known in my life,” Clarke said. “Many of the greatest artists have been intensely involved with stained glass — Mondrian, Matisse, Albers, Cocteau, De Kooning, Le Corbusier, Richter. I believe the medium has the potential to have the same kind of uplifting impact on our urban engagement as it had on architecture in the 15th century. I want to surpass the Middle Ages, not equal them. This exhibition demonstrates that stained glass has an authority and potential to deal with every human condition,” said Clarke.

He continued, “The history of art and the history of architecture and design are linked like siblings. Modernity wrenched them apart, celebrating portable art as a monetized market and distancing design and architecture into isolated worlds of their own, with interaction between the disciplines moving from creative collaboration into arbitrary acquaintance. MAD are committed to supporting the healthier, challenging relationship between the arts and I fully behind them in this.”

Images from The Art of Light at the Sainsbury Centre, supported and organised in association with HENI.


Brian Clarke. Flowers for Zaha. Photo © Fraser Watson


Brian Clarke. World Without End (detail). Photo © Matthias Kirchberger


Brian Clarke. Seville (detail). Photo © Chris Gascoigne


Brian Clarke. Manhattan. Photo © Chris Gascoigne


Brian Clarke. Study for Portrait of The Five Sisters, 2007, lead on lead. Photo © Matthias Kirchberger

Brian Clarke: The Art of Light is organized by the Sainsbury Centre in association with the Museum of Arts and Design. It is curated by Director Paul Greenhalgh.

Images courtesy Museum of Arts and Design.