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Sweet Immortality

Douglas Clark

March 5 to May 15, 2005

Sweet Immortality

Douglas Clark (Canadian, 1952-1999)
Tintype and Game, From "Articles of Faith", 1987
chromogenic print, 164.1 x 57.3 cm
Collection of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, an affiliate of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Gift of the artist, 1997.
© 2005 Courtesy of Tina Oehmsen Clark.

Throughout his short life Douglas Clark was a great animator of Canadian fine art photography. He was passionate about its expressive possibilities, its history and the work of his fellow photographers. A generous organizer of numerous projects to showcase the photographs of others, Clark also communicated his love for the medium to his many students in both Canada and Europe. In addition to these activities, Clark maintained his own practice as an artist. His work evolved from the classic "street" photography of the 1960s and 70s into the highly personal and unique bodies of work, Articles of Faith and Gio.

Along the way he documented his travels in a series of beautiful panoramas that showed his love of colour, spatial illusion and surprise. His extended residencies in Paris and Hamburg during the early 1990s exposed him to an art-making practice grounded more in ideas than in the sensation, humour and curiosity that had informed his early photography. His work became more austere and questioning. His final major project, North of America (1997), moved into a world where photography and its luscious rendering of colour was less essential. This new installation work was formal, monochromatic and preoccupied with change, process and the measurement of the little time that he was to have left.

The exhibition is generously supported by Toronto Image Works and Edward Burtynsky. The exhibition publication is generously supported by Duncan McLean/Waddington's, and John Whyte/Borealis Strategic.

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