Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe: Our Lives in Paint

October 21, 2017 to April 01, 2018

This retrospective exhibition will celebrate the half-century relationship of Eugene painters Margaret Coe and Mark Clarke (who passed away unexpectedly on January 11, 2016). Clarke was beloved for his luminescent acrylic paintings that captured the Willamette Valley’s unique landscape and atmosphere, but he also painted striking figures drawn from imagination, memory, and his own family. He extended his interest in harmonious color and form beyond the canvas through explorations in sculpture and collage. Coe, who recognizes modernist Oregon painters C.S. Price (1874–1950) and Charles Heaney (1897–1981) as important influences, has a keen eye for the dynamic color and energy of this region. Her brightly-realized paintings of the Northwest treat the natural and the manmade with equal attention. Additionally, she has engaged with cross-cultural, international subject matter (painting on site during artist residencies in England, France, and Italy), as well as acutely-personal moments from periods of grief and mourning.  Clarke graduated from the UO with a B.S. in 1959 and an M.F.A. in 1965. He was previously the chief museum exhibitions preparator and museum technician at the University of Oregon Museum of Art (now the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art). Coe received her M.F.A. from the UO in 1978 and later taught at the UO, Lane Community College, and the Maude Kerns Art Center. Between the two of them, Clarke and Coe studied under many of the finest artists on the UO teaching staff:  painters David McCosh (1903–81), Andrew Vincent (1898–1993), and Frank Okada (1931–2000), and sculptor Jan Zach (1914–86).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with essays by Danielle Knapp, Margaret Coe, and Roger Saydack, made possible by a Ford Family Foundation Exhibition Documentation and Support Grant.