CLARKE, Geoffrey

Geoffrey Clarke  British 1924-1914

Geoffrey Clarke, sculptor and print maker.  He studied at Preston School of Art from 1940 to 1941 and at Manchester School of Art from 1941 to 1942 before serving in the War with the RAF. He returned to his studying at Lancaster and Morecambe School of Arts and Crafts from 1947 to 1948, before attending the Royal College of Art in 1948, where he remained until 1952. Although he originally did the Graphics course, he quickly changed and studied Stained Glass. He made a window panel which was awarded a silver medal, an honour unheard of for a first-year student. In 1950, Darwin put Clarke’s name forward for inclusion in Basil Spence’s project to rebuild Coventry Cathedral. By the time of the 1952 Biennale, the 27-year-old sculptor was at work on a decade-long series of commissions.  In 1951 he was awarded a Royal College Travelling Scholarship and also received the silver medal at the Milan Triennale for a collaboration with Robin Day, the furniture designer. He returned to the Royal College from 1968 to 1973, where he was Head of Light Transmission and Projection Department.

Clarke’s first solo show was held at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, in 1952, the same year in which his work was included in the Venice Biennale. In 1965 he had a retrospective at the Redfern Gallery, London and his work was included in British Sculpture in the 1960s exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Similarly, he was selected for British Sculptors ‘72, at the Royal Academy of Arts and for British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1981. In his later career, much of Clarke’s work was commission-based, cast in a foundry in a barn at his home in Suffolk. Clarke’s work is held in many prestigious public and private collections around the world.

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