b. 1937 Norfolk, VA
d. 2024, Denver, CO
Joe Clower pulls from varied source materials around him, richly conceiving works that abandon the conventionality of time and space and realize uncategorized realms through compositions of floating objects, eccentric environments and depersonalized modernist landscapes. His sharply lined paintings, often on panel, tin or paper, develop their own distinctly private language that jumps from the bizarrely outlandish to the strangely mundane, emphasizing idiosyncratic narratives. His pieces explore mechanical wonders that have yet to be invented idiosyncratic shapes, images and compositions. Spanning more than 40 years, the paintings in the exhibition trace the development of Clower’s dissonant story telling into a fully formed visual sensibility and aesthetic. One, however, that still expects the viewer to do the work.
Joe Clower received his BFA in 1963 from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA and his MFA in 1967 from the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. While at CU Boulder he became connected with many of Colorado’s new wave of artists as a member of Boulder’s Armory Group and later the Criss-Cross artist co-operative. Clower has exhibited his work nationally since 1964, including exhibitions in New York City, NY; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; and throughout Colorado. His museum exhibitions include the Denver Art Museum, MCA/Denver, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kansas City Art Institute, Whitney Museum of American Art, Center on Contemporary Art Seattle, The Harwood Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Alaska State Museum, in addition to numerous University institutions around the country. His work is in the public collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Eli and Edythe Broad Collection, the National Gallery of Australia, and Warner Brothers Records along with many private collections.