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.
signed with monogram
titled and dated 1941 label verso
Annely Juda Fine Art, London (label verso)
Clough’s early paintings focused on industrial towns, building sites and fishing markets. Inveraray Quay, located in Argyll is just one example of her ability in transforming her surroundings into a picture of interest. Over the course of time her works moved into abstraction yet her curiosity in the prosaic elements of everyday life continued to inspire her. A monograph, Regions Unmapped by Francis Spalding, has recently been published by Lund Humphries.