Clive Barker: Objects for Contemplation

For over half a century now, Clive Barker has cast or fabricated sculptures in bronze and other metals largely from found objects and finished them impeccably in a variety of surfaces, sometimes polished or plated in gold or silver so that they gleam like luxury commodities, sometimes painted or given a more traditionally artistic patina. Dispensing with the conventional tools of the sculptor and considering even a studio to be superfluous, he has instead concentrated his attention on choosing the objects that he takes to the foundry for casting - often with minimal apparent alteration - and on presiding over the process with absolute attention to detail but with scant need for his personal manual intervention. The conceptual rigour of his procedure, based on his observations as a very young man of the assembly-line methods employed in a car factory at which he was working, has paradoxically gone hand-in-hand with an intense subjectivity in his selection and an insistence on the sensuous physicality of the objects that are the end-product of a step-by-step process born of a kind of daydream. Given the wide-ranging nature of his imagery, it is impressive to witness how this hands-off approach results repeatedly in sculptures that not only look confident and inevitable but that consistently bear the stamp of his artistic vision.

For 20 Years, Whitford Fine Art has defended the career of Clive Barker who was part of the original 1960s Pop art movement, with assemblage work dating as early as 1962. His friendships with Peter Blake, David Hockney, Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein and Paul and Linda McCartney are well documented in correspondence. 
This exhibition at Whitford Fine Art will give the public a chance to see Barker's latest works, which are testimony to his commitment to the Pop cause. As a protégé of the legendary art dealer Robert Fraser, and Erica Brausen of the Hanover Gallery, Barker was at the heart of the British Pop Art Movement in 1960's Swinging London. Over the years, Barker has remained true to the essence of Pop Art and his latest replicas of functional objects of mass-culture in gleaming bronze continue to investigate the fundamentals of both traditional and Modernist sculpture, in particular Marcel Duchamp's concept of the ready-made. Barker's art has formed a particularly important part in the evolution of Pop Art Sculpture on either side of the Atlantic. His influence on Jeff Koons' work from the 1980s was profound.