A native of New Orleans, Edward Clark grew up in Chicago, attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on a GI Bill scholarship, which also supported study in Paris in the early 1950s. As with so many of his expatriate peers, Paris played a crucial role in the transformation of Clark’s work. In addition to being a refuge from the general discrimination Clark experienced in the United States, the city also provided a respite from the expectation that African American artists paint in a realist mode. Indeed in Paris Clark turned emphatically toward abstraction: “It struck me that if I paint a person—no matter how I do it—it is a lie. The truth is in the physical brushstroke and the subject of the painting is the paint itself.” (School of the Art Institute of Chicago: http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/ed-clark) Abound returning to the United States, Clark became interested in the dynamism of the New York scene where a second wave of abstract expressionism was on the rise. He then became a founding member of Brata Gallery, an artists collective that included his friend and sculptor George Sugarman, as well as Al Held, Sal Romano, John Krushenick, and Ronald Bladen.