This Friday the Gallery House in Clinton Hill is opening a new group exhibition called “Reclaiming Space." One artist that was meant to be involved, however, has just been tossed out. Clark Clark contacted us today saying his piece (larger picture) has been removed from the show. He explained:
"On the 4th of July, I received a phone call from the show director and artist, Jonathan Levy, that my painting 'Evolve America,' which I hung on July 2nd, was censored from this weeks upcoming show at the Gallery House.
I was told the building's property manager sent a cell phone photo of the painting to the building owner who lives in another state. The building owner called his lawyer. The lawyer called Levy and told him that it was illegal to paint on a flag. The lawyer requested it be removed immediately or the entire show would have to come down. I was also told that I could not release any photos to the media.
Yesterday I went back to pick up the flag. I wanted to take a photo of the piece on the wall, but I was denied. I realize they have the power to decide what is displayed in their building and gallery. However there is no law that prohibits me from burning a flag, much less painting on one."
Clark tells us he was denied the building owner's contact information, however, we've contacted the show's director, artist Jonathan Levy, for further comment and will update when we hear back. In the meantime, Clark better hope Robert Indiana doesn't find out about this piece (though right now he's got bigger concerns).
UPDATE: Levy tells us, "I felt his piece was not appropriate for the show. Here at Gallery House, we promote positive messages through displaying the works of emerging artists at no expense to the artist. I do not believe writing 'Evolve' on a flag of any nation is a positive message so I choose to pull it. What Clark would not understand is 'Reclaiming Space' is a fundraising event benefiting GreenEdge NYC which is an organization aimed at educating New Yorkers about the environment. Clark is creating an issue where there is none because that is what he does."