R. Lane Clark creates work that interrogates the interactions between the forces of nature and human inscriptions on the natural world.
Using a wide variety of artistic media including painting, documentary filmmaking, painted photo-projections and prints, and clay, Lane engages the place of humanity within nature and nature's impact on humanity.
His documentary film and video projects also investigate the interactions between cultures and modern rituals. His eye is attuned to personal stories and how people move through the world.
Art arises from the tension between earth and spirit, between consciousness and unconsciousness. For both the maker and the viewer the image becomes an intersection between the visible and the invisible.
In my career as an artist over the past 25 years, in which I have lived in the U.S., Switzerland, and Ghana, I have worked in a variety of media including painting, photography, documentary video, clay, stone, and garden design. I am particularly drawn to materials and processes where “wildness” and “civilization” interact to form imagery that activates the imagination of the viewer and honors the forces of nature.
My work is informed by the experience of living in different cultures and learning other ways of seeing, doing, speaking. I am intrigued by the ways that we bridge differences, and by how images and music can travel across cultures, taking on new meanings and connotations. My work is not only informed by the various artistic movements of the twentieth century but also represents a post-modern visual culture that naturally combines imagery from a variety of people and places, past and present, that I have come to know. – R. Lane Clark
Clark completed his BFA at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1980. He moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he spent seven years concentrating on painting, exhibiting in Europe and New York. In 1990, after extensive travel in West Africa, he entered the graduate program in Time-Arts and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received an MFA in 1992. Living in Ghana for two years with the support of a Fulbright Research Grant, he worked on documentaries about Akan culture.
Ghana has become a second home to Clark, and he frequently returns to West Africa to make documentaries and to teach. Throughout his career, Clark has constantly explored and exhibited work in a variety of mediums, producing paintings, photography, documentary videos, projected theater sets, and works in clay. He teaches painting, documentary, and general arts in a variety of settings, finding the process of encouraging artistic discovery with students to be stimulating, healing, and meaningful.
1992 Masters of Fine Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1980 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia
1976 Independent studies, Art history and French, Sorbonne, Paris
1974-76 Undergraduate studies in fine arts and sociology, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Videos and Slide-Films
[all self-shot, directed, and edited unless otherwise noted]
2014 “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” (animation with music by Stephen Pope)
2014 “Minding Swarthmore” (co-directed, interviews, second camera) documentary on the history of Swarthmore College
2012 “Salt and Light” (co-directed, camera, and interviews) A documentary about the Friends World Conference in Kenya
2010 “Jerusalem’s Secrets,” video animation with music by Stephen Pope
2009-2012 “Akosombo Stories,” stories about relocation from the construction of the Akosombo Dam in Ghana
2009- (undergoing final edits) “Are You Sure?” and “If All Else Fails,” produced with Women’s Health in Accra research consortium
2007 “Leur Songe de la Paix,” painted slide video animation
2005 “Enfants de la Rue” (street children in Abidjan)
2005 “Ellen and Dennis, Liberian Refugees in Ghana”
2004 “Apparitions,” painted-slide animation
2000 “The Green Circle Program,” video for GCP Inc., Philadelphia
1999 “Trancefigurations,” painted-slide animations
1998 “Luminary,” portrait of the artist Warren Muller
1997 "Eyes of a Stranger," a 53 min personal documentary looking at the life lessons that local people teach to an American living in Ghana as he endeavors to learn about traditional culture
1995 "Georgina Williams of Ghana," as part of the "Children of the World" series, Colman Communications, Chicago, IL (on site production manager and direction)
1995 "Kyeremu Proverbs," video; local teachers and elders explain meanings of proverb pictures on the walls of an Asafo shrine house in Abetifi, Ghana
1994 "In Memory of Obosomfo Kwasi Mawu," video, portraying a three-day long funeral celebration of a Tegare priest in Pepease, Ghana
1992 "Distance and Desire," video, spatial and emotional explorations of a cruising beach in southern France
1992 "Talking Tro-tros," slide-film installation, depicting hand-painted slogans on public transport buses moving through the landscape of Ghana
1991 "Reaching," slide-film, painted slide animation exploring the figure in a watery realm
1991 "Eboka," slide-film, hand-painted slides animated in response to a Fang vision quest of Central Africa
1991 "Common Sense," video of a peace demonstration before Persian Gulf War
1990 "Merging Traffic," video, portrait of gull feeders on the lake front in Chicago
Public Video Screenings and Time-Arts Showings
October, 2016 “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” COMMFEST, Toronto
October, 2016 “Secrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” Intl. Film-maker Fest, Berlin
December, 2014 “Kyeremu Proverbs” Penn Museum, Philadelphia, PA
December, 2014 “Waiting for Light” preview screening, UC Berkeley, CA
October, 2014 “Mystery, Dreams, Faith and Wonder” Awakened World Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA
June 2014 “Minding Swarthmore” Swarthmore College, PA
August 2012 “Salt and Light”, Pacific Yearly Gathering of the Religious Society of Friends, Ben Lomond Center, CA
May 2010 “Jerusalem’s Secrets,” video screening, Electroacoustic Music Festival, New York City
January 2010 “Okomfo Tewia’s Shrine,” video screening and lecture, U.C. Santa Barbara
December 2009 “Akosombo Stories,” video screening, Production of Knowledge in Africa Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
May 2004 “Apparitions,” TOPAZ ARTSWoodside, Queens, NY
November 2000 “Remembering Kwasi Mawu,” video presentation, Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Nashville, TN
November 2000 “The Green Circle Program,” G.C. National Conference, Philadelphia, PA
August 2000 “Eyes of a Stranger,” video screening, palace of Nana Okyere Ampadu II, Chief of Pepease, Ghana
April 2000 “Eyes of a Stranger,” video screening, Multicultural Center, U.C. Santa Barbara
September 1998 “Trancefigurations,” painted Slide animation, Fringe Festival, Philadelphia, PA
January 1998 "Eyes of a Stranger," video screening, Galerie 408, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
December 1997 "Eyes of a Stranger," video screeing, Neues Kino, Basel, Switzerland
August 1997 Video presentation and discussion,"Eyes of a Stranger," Terra Nova festival, Montreal, Canada
April 1997 Video presentation and discussion,"Eyes of a Stranger," Visual Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia,PA
February 1997 Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
December 1996 Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association, International House, Philadelphia, PA
November 1996 Video presentation and discussion, "Eyes of a Stranger," Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, San Francisco, CA
May 1996 Photo exhibition and video screening, "Posed or Possessed" CAAS Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
November 1995 Video presentation and discussion, "Kyeremu Proverbs," Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association, Orlando, Florida.
December 1994 Video presentation, "Kyeremu Proverbs--a Work in Progress," Ghana Symposium, Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, U.K.
October 1994 Video presentation, "In Memory of Obosomfo Kwasi Mawu," Pepease Community Library, Pepease, Kwahu, Ghana.
June 1992 Time-arts show, "Eboka," Gallery 2, Chicago.
May 1992 Audiovisual presentation (slide animated film), "Talking Tro-Tros," Institute for Advanced Study & Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
December 1991 Field/Frame, video screening, "Distance and Desire," School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Selected Painting and Photo Exhibitions:
May-June 2013 “Luminous Incarnations”, Gallery 525 Ojai, CA
December 2012 Gallery 525 Ojai, CA. recent paintings
November 2011 “Spirit in Flesh,” Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, CA
April 2010 “Luminous Encounters,” Bahdeebahdu, Philadelphia, PA
August 2007 Paintings on Paper, Rütiring 105, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland
May 2007 Figurative Drawing, Elverhoy Museum, Solvang, CA
December 2006 Paintings, Galerie Zum Kleinen Schwann, Baden, Switzerland
April 2005 “Dancing on the Wall,” recent paintings, SoHo, Santa Barbara
May 2004 Solo exhibition, TOPAZ ARTS, Woodside, Queens, NY
April 2004 Group exhibit, AFSC Friends Gallery, Pasadena, CA
January 2004 Painted-slide sets for “Thin Skins,” dance performance, Lobero Theater and Hatlen Theater, Santa Barbara, CA
October 2003 Art Detour, recent paintings and ceramics, Ojai, CA
October 2003 Focus on the Forum, Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
October 2003 Gay Identities III, Frameworks Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
January 2003 “Spirit Expressed,” Friends Gallery, Pasadena, CA
October 2002 Painted-slide sets, TOVA project, “In Each Other’s Eyes,” International Institute of New Jersey
October 2002 Day of the Dead exhibit, Philadelphia, PA
May 2002 Painted-slide sets, “Ayo’s Journey,” Dramatic Women, Center Stage Theater, Santa Barbara, CA
November 1998 Open Studios Weekend, recent paintings, 915 Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA
April 1998 Painted-slide sets for “An Old Woman Came Through Me,” TOVA, Philadelphia
December 1997 Painted-slide sets for “The Snow Queen,” Rowan University, Glasboro, N.J.
April 1996 "Images of Kwawu", CAAS Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
March 1996 "Divinations," recent paintings, Art Lounge, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
April 1994 "Posed or Possessed," photo exhibit, Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
February 1993 Group exhibit, paintings, Gallery 2, Chicago
October 1992 Solo show, paintings, Janiak and Freivogel, Binningen, Switzerland.
April 1992 Masters Thesis Show, paintings, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
March 1992 Time Arts Event, "Light-paintings," N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago
September 1991 Group exhibit, paintings, "Around the Coyote," Chicago
June 1991 Group exhibit, paintings, "QuArt," Beret International Gallery, Chicago
November 1990 Group exhibit, installation, "Day of the Dead Show," Chicago
September 1989 One-man show, paintings, Janiak and Freivogel, Binningen, Switzerland
December 1988 Group exhibit, paintings, "Weihnachtsausstellung," Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland
December 1988 Group exhibit, paintings, Galerie Mainetti, Basel, Switzerland
September 1988 Solo show, paintings, sculptures, and light-painting installation, Galerie Quasar, Regensburg, Germany
June 1988 Two-artist exhibit, paintings and sculptures, Galerie W, Wangen, Switzerland
December 1987 Solo show, paintings, The Knitting Factory, New York
September 1987 Solo show, paintings and prints, Galerie Freiraum, Munich, Germany
August 1986 Group exhibit, paintings, Berowergut, Riehen, Switzerland.
June 1986 Wegweiser-Aktion, installation, "Art 17," Galerie Palazzo, Liestal, Switzerland.
December 1985 Group exhibit, paintings, Galery Vasalucci, Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 1985 Solo show, paintings and installation, Atelier 408, Amsterdam, Netherlands
October 1984 Solo show, paintings, Galerie Arsenal, Binningen, Switzerland.
July 1982 Solo exhibit, paintings, Chelsea Lion, New York
2000-2002 Karl Miescher-Stiftung, Switzerland, artist’s research grant
1995 -1996 Artist in Residence, International Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
June 1994 Illinois Arts Council, Special Assistance Grant
May1994 New Television Award, Center for New TV, Chicago, Illinois.
1993-1994 Resident Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study & Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
1992-1993 Fulbright Research Grant in support of independent projects in Ghana, West Africa
Teaching and Related Experience:
2012- Teaching Art, Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary, CA
2009 Curator, “Still: 2 Troubles One God,” work by contemporary Ghanaian painters, Revisiting Modernization Conference, Institute of African Studies Gallery,
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
2008-2009 Curriculum development, teaching, and design work for “Right to Dream Foundation,” Accra, Ghana
2004-2007 Studio Arts Instructor, Dunn School, Los Olivos, CA
2005 Video post-production and mentoring of Peace Media teams, Everyday Gandhis, Santa Barbara, CA and Liberia
1994-2004 La-la Productions, Director, Artistic Projects and Video Productions for Social Change
2000-2001 Faculty Research Associate, Video documentary instruction and field director, Accra, Ghana / University of Michigan, Women’s Health in Accra
1999 Painting Instructor, Department of Art, University of California, Santa Barbara
1998 Independent contracting for GVB Video Productions, Manayunk, PA
1997-98 Slide paintings and set designs for Philadelphia theater companies and performers including; TOVA Artistic Projects that Speak for Social Change,
Warren Muller's "Boichic," and Melanie Stewart's production, "The Snow Queen," Rowan University, Glasboro, NJ
1997 Freelance video production including: script writing, camera work and on-site production management for "In Search of Eagles Productions," Elwood, NJ,
covering "Sun and Fun" flight convention and other aviation projects
July 1997 Videography and on-site production in Beijing, China for an independent project by Laurie White, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Winter 1996 Instructor, Film and Video, seminar: "Screening Social Change," University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Fall-Winter 1996 Coordinator, "Screening Social Change" International series of independent film and video on social movements in a globalizing world, organized through the International
Institute and Film & Video/ Communications departments of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1995-1996 Artist in Residence and Program Development, The International Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Winter 1995 Instructor, Afro-American and African Studies, "Possessing Africa: Issues in African Television and Video," University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1994 On-site production manager and second camera, Akropong, Ghana, for "Children of the World Series" video, Colman Communications, Evanston, IL