Morgan Lehman is pleased to present Emilie Clark’s solo exhibition: The Weeklies, an ongoing body of work created over the last twelve years. Clark began the project in 1995, completing one 12×9 inch panel for each week of each year. She has finished 614 paintings to date, and plans to continue the project for the rest of her life.
Most of Clark’s work stems from her interest in natural history specifically, and the encyclopedic organization of knowledge more generally. Her previous projects, Letters to Mary Ward and Home Studies in Nature, restage the experiments of 19th century women naturalists as a basis for installations that include drawing, painting, writing and specimens. The Weeklies could be thought to connect all of Clark’s research projects inasmuch as they constitute an ongoing laboratory for her visual language, offering a structure in which any visual specimen can enter. Essentially anything can be included, but it must fit into the form of paint on board to the exact size of 12×9 inches, and be completed before Sunday night each week of the year.
They have become, as she describes, “a non- systematic way to investigate all of life’s concerns that have not yet become systematic-this being its encyclopedism.” Clark likens the process of making a painting each week to that of a scientist who conducts controlled experiments, while at the same time collecting specimens, observing phenomena, and speculating about conclusions not related to the experiment or project. The Weeklies is deeply personal and autobiographical because of the painting’s relationship to events in her life. The paintings serve as visual records of these events, like snapshots or pages from a diary.
Morgan Lehman is presenting The Weeklies in its entirety, for the first time, with Clark adding a painting per week throughout the exhibition, thereby completing the 12th year. Each year, fifty- two distinct paintings, will hang eight paintings high and seven paintings wide, wrapping the entire gallery. Together the work forms a type of specimen collection, in which the collection itself is as valuable, important, and informational as the individual works. Though a compilation of Clark’s disparate impressions, thoughts, and feelings, they create a dialogue that touches upon any viewer’s relationship to time itself.
Morgan Lehman would like to gratefully acknowledge Lynne Tillman for her narrative essay written in response to Emilie Clark’s Weekly Series, and published on the occasion of this exhibition.