Oil on burlap canvas, 1944. 505x610 mm; 20x24 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Signed and tited in ink, upper stretcher bar verso.
Provenance: collection of the artist, with his typed label on the verso; the estate of the artist, Oakland, CA.
Exhibited: Artists of the 1930s and 1940s, California Afro-American Museum (CAAM), 1984, with the label on the frame back.
The Plow is a significant, modernist painting by Claude Clark, made during his most innovative period as a young artist living in Philadelphia. After winning a 4 year scholarship to the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art., he was supported by Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who gave him access to his famous collection at the Barnes Foundation from 1939-1944. In 1944, his painting Cutting Pattern was just the second art work by an African-American artist accepted into the Barnes Foundation, after one by Horace Pippin. Clark also was a colleague of Dox Thrash and Rayond Steth in the WPA Printmaking Workshop from 1939-1942, where he helped Thrash develop his innovative carborundum etching technique. Clark's paintings and prints are in many institutional collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Newark Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the De Young Museum. Messenger p. 48.