Clark began her career in the early 1950s as a painter, working in the abstract, geometric style that defined Concrete art, a prevalent tendency in modern art in Brazil in that period. By the end of the decade, however, she had come to regard the flatness of painting as a source of undesirable oppositions. “The plane arbitrarily marks off the limits of a space,” she wrote, and “from this are derived the opposing concepts of high and low, front and back—everything that contributes to the destruction in humankind of the feeling of wholeness.”
In The Inside Is the Outside, Clark defied these strictures by transforming a sheet of stainless steel into an open volume with no clear front or back, interior or exterior. By making linear cuts and exploiting the natural pliancy of the metal, she fashioned biomorphic curves, creating an object that brings together attributes that are often conceived as incompatible: subjective and objective, organic and inorganic, erotic and ascetic. Challenging the notion that works of art must be fixed and static objects, Clark envisioned this sculpture as participatory, inviting viewers to hold it and manipulate its shape.
Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)