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Delaware Art Museum – Clark Fox

Michael Clark (Clark Fox), American, Born 1946

Michael Vinson Clark now makes art under the name Clark V. Fox, a name he adopted to honor his Powhatan and Cherokee ancestry and to differentiate himself from an artist with the same name. Clark was raised in Texas and moved to Washington, D.C., during the 1960s. He studied with Japanese artist Unichi Hiratsuka (1895-1997) in the early 1960s and briefly attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. In Washington, he painted on projects with Gene Davis (1920-1985) and Thomas Downing (1928-1985), and later worked at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Clark helped found the Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington and remained at its center for 14 years. Clark was introduced to the Vogels by Richard Tuttle at a Whitney Biennial in the early 1970s. He and Herb became good friends, attending gallery openings and art history lectures at The Frick Collection.

In the 1970s, Clark produced a series of paintings, drawings, and prints of windows. In some the architectural reference is obvious, while others appear completely abstract on first glance. The flat color and geometric quality of these paintings link them to Minimalism and Hard-Edge abstraction, while the presence of subject matter and specificity of location place them within the realm of representational art. In a review of the 1977 Corcoran Biennial in Art News, Benjamin Forgey described the effect of Clark’s window paintings: “you got the feeling he was punning Mondrian and other geometricians even as he showed them respect.” Influenced by Pop Art, Clark’s more recent work appropriates corporate and political icons to comment on the effects of capitalist culture.

Bibliography

  • Clark V. Fox, curated by Mary Heilmann, with essay by Emily Warner. New York: Cue Art Foundation, 2009.
  • Forgey, Benjamin. “The Corcoran Biennial: A Generational Split.” Art News 76 (May 1977), 106-114.
  • Michael Clark, with an interview by Gene Baro. Syracuse, New York: Everson Museum of Art, 1974. Michael Clark (Clark Fox)

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