Pete Clarke retrospective opens at Victoria Gallery & Museum

Liverpool, UK – 1 October 2009: An exhibition of the work of the artist, Pete Clarke, will open at the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum.

The exhibition, ‘Looking Back: Facing Forward’, features a selection of Pete Clarke’s paintings, prints and drawings made since he moved to Liverpool in 1978. Whilst the exhibition illustrates a shift in colour, tone and subject it also demonstrates a number of consistent themes which have run through his work over the past 30 years. 

Early paintings focus on urban landscapes and life, often commenting on social and political issues. Later works, which often tend to abstraction, show a greater interest in nature and colour.  Clarke also makes clever use of collage and, in particular, extensive use of text and lettering in his work; the latter drawing on an early position he had as a printmaking teacher at the Liverpool School of Art.

Of particular interest are examples from Clarke’s series of works on paper entitled `The Wasteland’ which was inspired by his discovery of a heavily annotated copy of TS Elliot’s `The Wasteland’ in a library in 2006. These use reproduced images of the marked poem together with still life composition in mixed media drawings and prints.
Matthew Clough, Director of the Victoria Gallery and Museum, said, “This exhibition is an exciting opportunity to look back across Pete’s work. He has made a very significant contribution to the development of art in Liverpool, and we are delighted to be hosting this exhibition.”

Clarke studied at Burnley Municipal College, Bristol Polytechnic and Chelsea School of Art.  He is currently a senior lecturer in Fine Art and MA Course Leader at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

Visitors to the Victoria Gallery & Museum will also be able to see the completed exhibition by artist-in- resident, Tony Philips.  `A Shrine to the Twentieth Century’ features three art installations looking at electricity and nuclear power while the third installation features a unique collection of engine indicators from the University’s Department of Engineering.

Tony said: “I wanted to explore the various ways in which we understand and relate to science and technology, and the impact it has on society.”

The exhibition, `Looking Back: Facing Forward’, opens to the public on Friday 2 October until Saturday 23 January 2010.  Admission to all galleries and exhibitions is free and the building is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. 

Notes to editors:

The exhibition is accompanied by a 64 page full colour catalogue, ‘Looking Back: Facing Forward: Mistakes and Metaphors, Paintings, Prints and Drawings by Pete Clarke’, featuring essays by the artist, Bryan Biggs (Artistic Director, Bluecoat) and an interview with the artist conducted by Gabriel Gee. Available at the venue, priced £9.99.

The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £93 million annually.

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