Joe Clower

3/3/21 - 3/31/21

Feuilleton is pleased to present an exhibition of the Denver-based artist Joe Clower.

 

Joe Clower claims to have been painting the same painting since the late 60s. After receiving his MFA at University of Boulder in 1967, Clower went on to teach at The Art Institute in Chicago from 1967 to 1968. While there, he was exposed to the work of the influential instructor Ray Yoshida, and became friends with artists like Christina Ramberg and Philip Hansen, alongside whom he would later exhibit at the Hyde Park Arts Center in Chicago in 1972. It was during this time that he developed a pictorial idiom which was as influenced by Zap Comix as it was by Magritte, de Chirico, H.C. Westermann, and Charles Burchfield, among others. Although only tangential involved the False Image painters, it is clear that what he makes comes from a very similar matrix of influences.

 

For his exhibition at Feuilleton, Clower presents a selection of watercolors made over the past decade. The relatively elemental imagery in these paintings is reminiscent of classical scientific instruments, the drawing of comic books, de Chirico, and retro-futuristic architecture. A figure or

two usually occupy an agreeably desolate, single or two-toned ground. Using a bright, colorful, quasi-pop palette, Clower’s simplistic depiction speak to an almost edenic, 19th century conception of science and technology. Not so much utopian, or even idealized, the scientific-seeming objects in his paintings come off as harmless, if beguilingly strange instances of human invention. For all their inscrutability, they seem to be clear, static and in their proper place. Far from the pandora’s box of enlightenment progress, Clower’s objects convey an almost soothing sense of conviction in their very mystery.

Joe Clower (b. 1937, Norfolk, VA) lives and works in Denver. He has exhibited extensively in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver, among many other places. His work is in the Eli Broad Collection, Los Angeles, CA; Security Pacific Bank, Los Angeles, CA; Warner Brothers Records, Los Angeles, CA; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia.