Clare Menck

UPDATED ARTISTS BIO AND ARTIST’S STATEMENT 2020

Clare Menck is a figurative painter specializing in oils. Her passion for painting figures in a landscape setting in or around water is further augmented with a line of self-portraiture often (but not always) swimming. The landscape (especially water) becomes a metaphor for a deeper meaning surrounding the human subjects that inhabit it as if they are players on a natural stage. The artist revels in summery subjects making bathers her focus; Clare is renowned for her delightful painterly treatment of light and colour especially when capturing swimmers in water.
Lately, in a more moody atmospheric vein, Clare has turned to painting hounds by pools in moonlight and occasionally ‘retro’ subjects with some social commentary. Her different themes always have in common an uncanny observation of experienced reality portraying a deep sense of the inner worlds of these human and animal subjects.
Clare Menck is a Master’s graduate from the University of Stellenbosch with an Advanced Diploma in Fine Art from Michaelis (UCT). Her retrospective book “Clare Menck: Hidden Life” edited by Stefan Hundt, curator of Sanlam’s Art Collection, travelled the country to major museums and galleries as the accompanying catalogue to her mid-career retrospective celebrating 20 years of painting. Clare was included in the Top 40 selection of the Sanlam Portrait Awards national portrait competition twice (2013 and 2015).
Clare has had successful annual solo exhibitions at 99 Loop Gallery in Cape Town since 2015, as well as participation in group exhibitions countrywide. Clare also hosts cameo solo shows in country art hubs like Riebeeck Kasteel, Porterville and Tulbagh during their annual art weeks/weekends. She regularly exhibits new prints at the SA Print Gallery in Woodstock and has been represented by SA Print Gallery as well as by 99 Loop Gallery and Dawid Ras Fine Art at the Cape Town Art Fair, the Turbine Art Fair and the Joburg Art Fair (JAF) often. One of her works hangs in the Iziko Collection and many more in corporate and private collections worldwide. Clare’s international career highlight was the worldwide all women self-portrait exhibition “Sie, Selbst, Nackt” (“She, Self, Naked”) during 2013 in the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum of Bremen, Germany, when 5 of her self-portraits were selected to hang amongst the likes of Louis Bourgeois (FR/US), Judy Chicago (US), Imogen Cunningham (US), Gwen John (GB), Yoko Ono (JP/US), Anita Ree (DE), Jenny Saville (GB), Suzanne Valadon (FR) and Franscesca Woodman (US). Clare attended the opening in person and her work has been published in the book accompaning that show (same title). 

“Young man at dusk Porterville” 2017 40x60cm F Oil on Belgian cotton R32000

SOLD “Nude sunning herself (Piketberg self-portrait)” 2017

“West Coast self-portrait with emerald sea”2017 40x65cm Oil on wood F R34000

SOLD“Girl with a cobalt blue bay (Frauke near a West Coast ruin)” 2017

SOLD: “Swimmer in emerald Karoo plaasdam 2015 (portrait of Cecile Blevi)” 

SOLD: “Nude floating amongst trees (Lourensford self-portrait )”2017

SOLD: “Swimmer drifting in emerald waters (Piketberg self-portrait)”2017

SOLD:”Girl in emerald lake (Frauke)” 2017

“Self-portrait with yellow leg.”2017 oil on wood 40x60cm F R32000

SOLD:“Two greyhounds in the moonlight”2017

SOLD: “Two greyhounds by a poolside, frolicking in the moonlight”2017

“West Coast self-portrait with fishing boats.”2017 40x60cm Oil on wood R32000

SOLD:“Little glimmer swimmer (self-portrait)”2017

“Reflection in Spring, Hopefield” 2019 40x30cm Oil on panel F R24000
“Girl with Boston and treetrunks” 2019 40x30cm Oil on panel F R24000
“Emma’s ritual dip” 2017 45x50cm paper size, 35x35cm plate size Monotype F R11000