Fred Clark’s most recent exhibition at the Menier Gallery was a collection of paintings from his travels through the Andalusian mountains in May of this year. His landscapes capture the mood and the extraordinary light of this beautiful and wild part of Spain, whilst his drawings glimpse the movement and excitement of the bull ring and the feria.
Following in the footsteps of the artist David Bomberg, Fred drove in his converted van to Ronda so that he could paint directly from nature. Working with great speed and relentless energy to “get at something more than just the appearance of things”, these paintings are the culmination of a concentrated engagement with his surroundings.
This vigorous and gestural approach to painting attempts to raise the expressive potential of the painted surface beyond topography and representation, towards an embodiment of his emotional response to the landscape. Similarly, Fred’s swiftly made drawings each record his direct encounter with fleeting moments; whether explosive action or languid calm. The result is a collection of forceful and freely expressive paintings and drawings that chart Fred’s stylistic journey to the edge of abstraction and record with increasing spontaneity and vibrancy, this rugged and remote corner of Southern Spain.