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.

Beyond Black History Month: Celebrating Black Artists Year-Round

We’ve entered a new year, and we have a new administration, yet the challenges that we face as Americans are as old as any of us can remember. Every February, we celebrate Black History Month and then feel like we have done our part in recognizing both the adversity and the contributions of Black Americans in the making of America as we know it. However, I would argue that recognition limited to this one month, the shortest month of the year in fact, is not enough.  Understanding and celebrating Black history is critical to the unification and healing that our country so deeply needs. What...

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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November’s Featured Artist: Zanele Muholi

November’s Featured Artist: Zanele Muholi

“I’m reclaiming photography as a black female being. I’m calling myself a visual activist, whether I am included in a show or not, whether I am published or not. That’s my stance as a person, before anything else, before my sexuality and gender, because photography...

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October’s Featured Artist: Sanford Biggers

October’s Featured Artist: Sanford Biggers

This month’s featured artist, Sanford Biggers, is a New York City-based multidisciplinary artist who defies categorization. There is hardly a medium that Biggers has neglected to experiment with, boasting an oeuvre that includes sculpture, painting, mixed media,...

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Aimé Mpane

Aimé Mpane

Aimé Mpane is a Congolese artist who splits his time between Brussels, where his studio is based, and Congo, where he grew up and continues to do research for his work. Originally trained in sculpture before moving onto painting, Mpane’s pieces are a mixture of...

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Amy Sherald, Baltimore

Amy Sherald, Baltimore

First Lady Michelle Obama, 2018. Oil on Linen. National Portrait Gallery Amy Sherald is a Baltimore-based painter who is known for her portraits that are painted in her signature grayscale, and set against simplistic, yet vibrant backgrounds. Sherald grew up in...

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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.

Aimé Mpane

Aimé Mpane

Aimé Mpane is a Congolese artist who splits his time between Brussels, where his studio is based, and Congo, where he grew up and...

Amy Sherald, Baltimore

Amy Sherald, Baltimore

Amy Sherald is a Baltimore-based painter who is known for her portraits that are painted in her signature grayscale, and set against simplistic, yet vibrant backgrounds.