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

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 first learned sewing techniques passed down to her from her grandmother and mother. Her father was an immigrant from Ghana, and Butler drew inspiration from the colorful fabrics and garments of his homeland, as well as batiks from Nigeria, and prints from South Africa. After majoring in Fine Art and graduating cum laude from Howard...

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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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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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...