Born Cara Clough-Taylor, Clough broke away from her traditional upbringing and enrolled at the Chelsea School of Art between 1938-9 until World War II forced a premature end to her studies. During the war, she became an engineer’s draughtsman and mapper for five years.
In 1946 she resumed her training at Camberwell School of Art where she met Victor Pasmore. She established friendships with other budding artists of the time such as Patrick Heron, John Minton and Keith Vaughan. Her earlier works focused on still life arrangements before developing into images of the labourer; from fishermen to engineers, the figure became of secondary importance and the concept of their associated tools the primary. Over the course of time, the image of the figure dispersed to be replaced with abstracted images of cooling towers, cranes and building sites. Yet, as her style progressed into a purer form of abstraction, her inspiration of industrial landscapes remained.
Her first exhibition in 1947 at the Leger Gallery was soon followed by important solo exhibitions, including the Whitechapel Gallery in 1960, the Serpentine, the London and Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and Kettles Yard. In 1999 she was awarded the Jerwood Prize for painting.
dated 1958 and titled label verso
Austin Desmond Gallery, London 2005
Private Collection, 2005 - 2015
Clough’s use of the colour orange projects out from the canvas against the multiple layers of brown and grey. Her interest at the time was in portraying industrial landscapes and their relationship with oppressed human figures; here the worker is reduced to an anonymous shadow. Landscape with Orange Sign has remarkably similar compositional elements to Man by Fence, 1958 (Government Art Collection) and Landscape with Gasworks II (Portsmouth City Museum).