Art Collection

The Clark family began collecting art more than ten years ago, centering the collection on the work of emerging Black artists in North America and beyond. Collecting art from emerging artists is a form of supporting and advancing the development of the artists’ careers. Just as significant is the empowerment this form of support offers to contemporary social and cultural movements, of which the art is often a part, being that the work is usually a reflection of what is happening in the present moment.

Thematically much of the collection speaks to issues of representation and collective memory, confronting systems of power and recorded history which have constructed versions of race, ancestry, migration, gender, sexuality, and class that warrant contestation. Many of the artists engage their work as visual and social activism, aiming to provoke viewers into civic participation, if not full-blown activism. Throughout the Clark Collection, history, politics, identity, and popular culture are disrupted by artists who create with eclectic materials in mediums spanning the visual arts.

The majority of the Clark Collection is on display in the Clarks’ private residences, with the exception of a few pieces—most notably the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which are on display in the National Portrait Gallery. These portraits were painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.

July’s Artist of the Month: Kehinde Wiley

This month’s featured artist is one whose paintings and growing body of work have become instantly recognizable to so many of us who are passionate about the arts. Kehinde Wiley has an incredible talent for reinterpreting past artistic styles and traditions, making them entirely his own. His use of the Old Masters as a source of inspiration has encouraged all of us to look at paintings and their subjects in a new light. Born in Los Angeles, California, to an American mother and a Nigerian father, Kehinde Wiley began his artistic journey at a young age, participating in an after-school art...

July’s Artist of the Month: Kehinde Wiley

July’s Artist of the Month: Kehinde Wiley

This month’s featured artist is one whose paintings and growing body of work have become instantly recognizable to so many of us who are passionate about the arts. Kehinde Wiley has an incredible talent for reinterpreting past artistic styles and traditions, making...

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June’s Featured Artist: Nathaniel Mary Quinn

June’s Featured Artist: Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Nathaniel Mary Quinn is an artist whose incredible work stays with you. Known for his captivating collage-like portraits, Quinn has created a distinct style that is a unique blend between mixed media drawings and paintings of fragmented figures that play with the...

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Bisa Butler: Portraits at the Art Institute of Chicago

Bisa Butler: Portraits at the Art Institute of Chicago

The Princess, 2018  Bisa Butler. Art has a remarkable ability to transcend social and cultural boundaries, and it’s one of the things that I have always loved to learn more about. It’s one of the reasons that I dedicate my time to the Art Institute of Chicago’s Art...

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April’s Featured Artist: Bisa Butler

April’s Featured Artist: Bisa Butler

Known for her stunning and colorful quilted portraits, Bisa Butler seamlessly blends a passion for storytelling with the dynamic medium of textiles to create vibrant works of art that document the Black experience.  Butler was born in New Jersey in 1973, where she...

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March’s Featured Artist: Candida Alvarez

March’s Featured Artist: Candida Alvarez

March’s featured artist of the month is Brooklyn-born, Candida Alvarez. She is well-known for her bold and colorful creations such as the piece featured above. I became acquainted with her work through her involvement within Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago....

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February’s Featured Artist: Theaster Gates

February’s Featured Artist: Theaster Gates

My great friend, Theaster Gates, is a visual artist and urban planner who describes himself as “equal parts artist, bureaucrat, and hustler.” As an artist, Gates creates multimedia projects, installations, and performance art that confront issues of social justice,...

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January’s Featured Artist: Kerry James Marshall

January’s Featured Artist: Kerry James Marshall

Untitled (Pen), 1998. C-Print. Gallerist: Kavi Gupta, ChicagoKerry James Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama before his family moved to South Central Los Angeles where he was raised in the Watts neighborhood—known for the riots in 1965 that were a...

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December’s Featured Artist: Amoako Boafo

December’s Featured Artist: Amoako Boafo

Teju, 2019. Oil on Canvas. Gallerist: Mariane Ibrahim, Chicago.Ghanian artist Amoako Boafo resides between Vienna, Austria, where he has lived since 2014, and Accra, Ghana where he was born in 1984. He never imagined that his childhood love for painting would turn...

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Art Collection

The Clark family began collecting art more than ten years ago, centering the collection on the work of emerging Black artists in North America and beyond. Collecting art from emerging artists is a form of supporting and advancing the development of the artists’ careers. Just as significant is the empowerment this form of support offers to contemporary social and cultural movements, of which the art is often a part, being that the work is usually a reflection of what is happening in the present moment.

Thematically much of the collection speaks to issues of representation and collective memory, confronting systems of power and recorded history which have constructed versions of race, ancestry, migration, gender, sexuality, and class that warrant contestation. Many of the artists engage their work as visual and social activism, aiming to provoke viewers into civic participation, if not full-blown activism. Throughout the Clark Collection, history, politics, identity, and popular culture are disrupted by artists who create with eclectic materials in mediums spanning the visual arts.

The majority of the Clark Collection is on display in the Clarks’ private residences, with the exception of a few pieces—most notably the portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which are on display in the National Portrait Gallery. These portraits were painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, respectively.

April’s Featured Artist: Bisa Butler

April’s Featured Artist: Bisa Butler

Known for her stunning and colorful quilted portraits, Bisa Butler seamlessly blends a passion for storytelling with the dynamic medium of...