Bruce Clarke

Bruce Clarke (South Africa / United Kingdom, 1959)

A visual artist and photographer, Bruce Clarke was born in London in 1959 from South African parents. He has been living and working in France since the early nineties.

It was in the 1980’s at the Fine Arts School at Leeds University that Clarke was introduced to the Art & Language movement by Michael Baldwin, David Bainbridge, Terry Atkinson, and Harold Hurrell. In the continuity of these pioneering conceptual artists, Bruce Clarke’s work engages with contemporary history, the writing and transmission of that history, while aiming to stimulate thought about the contemporary world and its representations. Deeply anchored in a school of critical figuration, his artistic research integrates codes to better use them against structures of power and injustice.

Bruce Clarke became politically and artistically engaged early in his career, during the struggle for change in South Africa. He was one of the people in charge of the Rencontre Nationale contre l’Apartheid in France.

In parallel, the artist followed the evolution of the situation in Rwanda and the warning signs of the impending murder machine. In 1994, after a photo reportage he made a few weeks after the genocide, Clarke proposed the creation of a monumental installation on a site near Kigali, the Garden of Memory. This has been an on-going project since 2000, in close collaboration with the families of survivors, civil society, and Rwandese institutions, as well as UNESCO.

In 2014, he worked on a large-scale mural project for the 20th Commemoration of the Genocide in Rwanda. Titled Upright Men, this project first took place in Rwanda, but later travelled as an exhibition to some 20 other locations (Geneva, Lausanne, Brussels, Paris, Montreal, Ouidah etc.)

As resident artist invited by the Conseil Général de Guadeloupe (French Caribbean), Clarke produced an exhibition titled Fragments of tomorrow’s History, exploring the bridges between the slave trade, colonialism, and globalisation. A close collaborator of Fest-Africa at Lille (France) for the Rwanda project: Write, Film, Paint to Keep the Memory Alive, the artist has also worked with the Afrika Cultural Centre in Johannesburg (South Africa), and led visual arts workshops in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Benin, Tanzania, Zambia, and France.

As a photographer, he has published photo reports on South Africa, the reconstruction of Rwanda, the return of Liberian refugees, and Palestine. He also published Dominations (Homnisphères, 2006) and Fantômes de la Mer (ARTCO, 2016), which documents the life of economic and political refugees and victims of the trans-Mediterranean human trafficking.

In 2022, Bruce Clarke was invited to exhibit in two European capitals of culture: Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg) and Kaunas (Lithuania). His work is regularly shown in Europe, Africa and the United States of America.



S.A. / U.K.

Changing Memories III

55 x 110

Photograph, Collage & Watercolor on Paper




S.A. / U.K.

Feel (Suspensions Series)

116 x 81

Acrylic on Paper




S.A. / U.K.

Ready for This (Migrants Series)

55 x 90

Collage & Watercolor on Paper




S.A. / U.K.

Le Nègre docile est un Mythe (Icons Series)

Toussaint Louverture

70 x 50

Collage & Watercolor on Paper


Selected Exhibitions & Collections



Solo exhibitions (selection)              


2023            E Pluribus Unum, Kloser Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium

2022            Ecce Homo, Those who stayed, IX Fort, Kaunas, Lithuania

2022            Ecce Homo, Musée national de la Résistance, Esch, Luxembourg

2022            Un Etat des Choses, Galerie Art-Z, Paris, France

2021            Walking the Line, ARTCO gallery, Berlin, Germany

2020            Invisible Memories, Centre d’Art de Bonneuil, France

2019            En Suspension, Maison Rouge, Cotonou, Benin

2019            Voices, Galerie Carole Kvasnevski, Paris, France

2019            Fantômes de la Mer, Alliance française Johannesburg, South Africa

2019            Predators and Other Friends, Galerie Art-Z, Paris, France

2019            Lifting the Veil, Théâtre royal de Marrakech, Morocco

2018            Birth of an Icon, Kloser Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium

2018            Front Line, Espace Anis Gras, Arcueil, France

2018            Alliance française de Lusaka, Zambia

2017            Living Memory and Upright Men, Coutances Museum, France

2016            Sea Ghosts, French Institue, Nouakchott, Mauritania

2015            Daily Violence, Multimedia centre Lormont, France

2014            Humanities Gallery Out of Africa, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain

2014             En toute impunité, Gallery Les Naufragés du Temps, St Malo, France

2014            Upright Men, Simultaneous exhibitions (Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, Brussels, Luxemburg, Kigali, Limoges, Liège…) 20th commemoration of genocide in Rwanda

2013             Precarious Lives Gallery Julio Gonzalez, Arceuil, France

2013            Janus Gallery, Montreux, Switzerland

2013            M.I.A. Gallery Seattle, United States

2013             Body and Souls, Maison de l’International, Grenoble, France

2012             Artium Gallery, Luxemburg

2012             Fondation Zinsou, Cotonou, Benin

2011             Who’s Afraid , Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

2010             Neumünster Abby, Luxemburg

2010             Artium Gallery, Luxemburg

2010             Bekris Gallery, San Francisco, United States

2010             Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

2009             Geneva Book Fair, Switzerland

2007             Other(s), l’Art et la Paix Gallery, France

2006             Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

2006             Arcima Gallery, Paris, France

2006             Troubled identity, mixed identity, Plein Sud Festival, Cozes, France

2005             Arrêt sur Image Gallery, Bordeaux, France

2004             I’m writing to you from the Garden of memory - installation, Dak’Art off, St Louis, Senegal

2004             Les Naufragés du Temps Gallery, St Malo, France

2002             Fragments of tomorrow’s History, L’Artchipel, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe

2001             Centre Rémy Nainsouta, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean.

2000             I’m writing to you from the Garden of memory - Installation, Gallery Porte 2a, Bordeaux, France

2000             Château de St-Ouen, Saint-Ouen, France

1999             French Cultural Centre, Kigali, Rwanda

1999             Fragments of History, Grenoble International, Grenoble, France

1997             Rayon Vert Gallery, Nantes, France

1997             South African Embassy, Paris, France

1997             Museum of Romans, Romans, France

1996             Marina Gallery, Avignon, France



Group exhibitions (selection)


2023            Ce que la Palestine apporte au Monde, UNESCO/Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France

2023            Bénin en Majesté, Espace Cosmopolis, Nantes, France

2019            Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon

2019            Urban Art Fair, Paris, France

2018            Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France

2018            Fusions, avec Migrations Culturelles 2a (MC2a), Bordeaux, France

2017            Galerie Vallois, (avec l'artiste Aston) Paris,

2017            Fantômes de la Mer, Gorée Island, in the festival « Regards sur Cours »

2016            AKAA Art Fair, Paris

2016            Tribute to Dak’Art, Martigny, Switzerland

2016            Sea Ghosts, Subabiennale, Dak’Art Off, Senegal,

2016             Targets, ArtCo Gallery, Aachen, Germany

2016             Cape Town Art Fair, Le Cap Johannesburg

2015            Africa/Africains, Museu Afrrobresil, Sao Paolo, Brazil

2015             Global Topics, ArtCo Gallery, Aachen, Germany

2014             FNB Art Fair, Johannesburg

2013            Etonnants Voyageurs Festival, Saint-Malo, France

2012             Iwalewa Haus – Bayreuth, Germany

2012             Boxe Boxe, Fondation Blachère – Apt, France

2010             Couleur Café Festival, Bruxelles, Belgium

2009             Africajarc Festival, Carjac, France

2008             Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

2008             Contemporary Art Fair, Espace Pierre Bergé, Bruxelles, Belgium

2007             East African Biennale, Dar es Salam, Tanzania

2004-5         La, Bruxelles, Belgium

2004-5         Musée des Arts Derniers, Paris, France

2004             Ephémère Gallery, Montigny-le-Tilleul, Belgium

2003             L’Essor Gallery, Le Sentier, Switzerland

2002             Dak’art Biennale, Dakar Senegal

2001             Belfort Art and History Museum - with Edith Convert, Belfort, France

2001             The Artist and the Real, Maison de la Culture de la Nièvre, Nevers, France

1998             Kulturfabrik, Luxembourg

1995             Africanités, Saintonge Gallery, Paris, France

1995             art’CRA, Accra, Ghana

1994             De l’Afrique à l’Afrique, Gallery Yahia, Tunis, Tunisia




Public collections


Tilder Foundation, France

Zinsou Foundation, Cotonou, Benin

Contemporary Art Museum, Ouidah, Benin

Blachère Foundation, France

Artocarpe, Guadeloupe contemporary art museum, France

Cities of Paris, Bordeaux, Bègles, Arceuil, Vénissieux, France

Museum for Palestine, UNESCO, Paris

Musée national de la Résistance et des Droits humains, Esch, Luxembourg

IX Fort, Kaunas, Lithuania

Musée La Contemporaine, Nanterre, France

The Pas-Chaudoir Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art from Africa and the Diaspora, Antwerp, Belgium

Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Geneva, Switzerland

Gervane+Mathias Leridon Collection, Paris, France