Oil on thin board, circa 1940-41. 305x457 mm; 12x18 inches. Signed in oil, lower right, recto.
Provenance: the estate of the artist, Oakland, CA, with the artist's typed label with his Philadelphia address on the verso.
This striking modernist painting and very scarce image of an African-American architect or architectural student is an excellent example of the early oil painting of Claude Clark. It was painted shortly after the artist was a student at The Pennsylvania School of Industrial Arts. In 1935, Clark won a four-year scholarship to study at the commercial art school. By his third year, Clark won the painting prize and had adopted his palette knife technique. From 1939-1942, Claude Clark was also a colleague of Dox Thrash and Raymond Steth in the Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop and the WPA workshop where he work in lithography and carborundum etching. In 1939, Clark was accepted to the Barnes Foundation for a fellowship study. In 1944, his painting Cutting Pattern was only the second work by an African-American artist accepted into the Barnes Foundation's permanent collection, after Horace Pippin. Today, Clark's paintings are found in numerous museum collections including the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.