Pierre Clerk’s canvasses displayed for The Long View are based on a deep sensitivity to colour to question the shape as such. It is therefore the ability of the chromaticism to become form that interests the artist (cf. his admiration for Matisse and his cut papers). The colour acts a sort of matter, or better: as an ensemble of parts of a brainteaser that one has to bring together in a precise manner.
Pierre Clerk elaborates a sort of mechanics of colour, in which the tonalities are as many pieces of a strange and infinite machine, in continual readjustment. And if the work of the artist is much more purely formal than that of Leger for example, for whom he has a profound admiration, he retains from the master’s research the interest for colour that is at the same time volume, form, and capable of transforming bodies into cogs of the great chromatic mechanics of a work.
The painter looks to multiply and diffract plans. If Clerk is touched by Newman or Rothko’s painting, it is not for the expressivity of their gesture, but for their ability to play on depth by working on colour.