Graham Clarke – Maidstone Art Gallery – March 2017
Graham Clarke ‘Now & Then’
Note from Museum website ……
Artist, author, illustrator and humourist, Graham Clarke is one of Britain’s most popular and best-selling printmakers. This entertaining exhibition of etchings, blockprints, watercolours and sketchbooks spans 50 years of this prolific Kentish artist’s work demonstrating his unique style found in national collections, royal palaces, galleries, pubs and private homes across the world.
Graham Clarke, artist, author, illustrator and humorist, is one of Britain’s most popular and best-selling printmakers. He has created some five hundred images of English rural life and history, of the Bible and of the Englishman’s view of Europe. Born in 1941, Clarke’s upbringing in the austerity of war-time and post-war Britain, made him reliant on his own imaginative resources. Responding to the comedy of everyday life, he brings his own unique brand of humour to his interpretation of past and present history through the eyes of the common man. Maidstone Museum.
Clarke takes a humour look at life allowing the observers to be a side participant in the farce taking place in front of him. He observes life and its traditions and twists it to see the humorous side. Whitstable world renowned for its oysters is renamed Oysterble. It is possible for many of these places to be recognisable as well as some local characters to spot themselves.
Clarke is an artist local to where I live and I have been to his studio on the neighbourhood of Maidstone. Looking at his paintings becomes compelling as you seek to spot the little quirks and nuances of the characters and the scene being played out before you. Much of the work at this exhibition were etchings but these were similar enough to pen and ink to be a major ‘draw’ for me. This being a favoured medium