Brian Clarke’s ‘Vespers’ series of watercolour paintings, initiated in 2019, appear at first glance to be a series of poppies, with thin green lines and vivid splashes of red clustering on a blank background. Emerging from the artist’s memories of roadside poppy fields, the flowers quickly assume more abstract, changeable forms, almost resembling butterflies swarming, alighting and lifting off again, generating in each image a uniquely flickering, chromatically vibrating kinesis.
Merging form and abstraction through interactions with light and colour, the poppies are in a state of constant transformation, engendered by the gentle chromatic effusions of watercolour. Through Clarke’s skilful hand, this medium captures the flowers’ feeling of diaphanous membrane. The liquid essence of watercolour is reminiscent of the transilluminating qualities of stained glass, a medium that Clarke has consistently elevated throughout his practice.
In an unprecedented collaboration between HENI and Phillips the debut exhibition of Clarke’s entire Vesper series of watercolours will go on view to the public at 30 Berkeley Square from 5 August to 10 September 2021 and will be made available in a limited duration sale here on HENI Leviathan.