Laura Winn Clark

Never A Room of One’s Own, Oil on linen, 18″ x 24″, May 2022

You say, “Hello” and I say, “How are you?” And then you “confess” to a terrible morning and we feel better that we got past “pleasantries.” But we didn’t talk about what caused you to get up this morning, forego more lucrative work and more pleasurable leisure to MAKE something.

What do I do? I paint women, often artists, in their surroundings. My subjects are friends and acquaintances – chefs, writers, painters, sculptors – who are claiming space for themselves and their work; my aim is to document the private choices that make their work possible. I try to look with the third eye of my subject, entering their world through conversation, documentation and reflection. Slow thinking and uncertainty are important; the themes are existential: commitment, shirking, isolation and connection. The paintings feature compositional juxtapositions, iridescent color, and a visual rapport between the subject and their space that reveals each painting’s narrative.

For some viewers, the series connects to personal experience and offers a sense of belonging. For others, it reminds us of the larger social order. For me, the process of making the paintings creates an opportunity to ask meaningful questions, unearth esoteric wisdom, and find camaraderie with my subjects as we thrive on the fortitude of each other.

In another series, I render urban backyards, where all – from the walls and patios to the trees and plants – are the result of generations of careful toil. I am fascinated by the investment in these spaces and the complexities of how these spaces operate. The implicit subjects are the women who construct and curate them, the time they devote to it and the parallel care I take in mythologizing their Sisyphean efforts.


Laura Clark received her BA from Princeton University in Architecture and Urban Planning. Her thesis assessed how artists and architects utilize light to manipulate space and circulation. She then worked as a documentary field producer, making shows for independent distribution as well as MSNBC and Discovery Channel. She was an artist-in-residence at Kunstraum, LLC and is a 2022 Mother Art Prize finalist.

“What is realism? Or, to be more accurate, what are realisms? For there is not a single realism, but many.”

-Linda Nochlin

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