Clive Pates Bio.

Clive Pates has spent most of his career working both as a painter and sculptor. As a British national he spent his early career in the United Kingdom but now lives and works in the United States.

My work answers to the very modern question of the role of realism in the field of contemporary art. A precept for this is not to follow fashion, but to step into the unknown.

At the beginning of my formal training in the 1980’s, art colleges were being shaped by a lively mix of experimentation and creative ideas. I was part of the first generation of artists with a training background focused almost entirely on abstract and conceptual work, who saw these movements as the established, normal approach. In contrast to this, there has always been a strong figurative element to British art. We were taught to experiment and really try out anything we liked to make an artistic statement, but at the same time the life room still existed as part of the art school structure and presented some kind of formal escape from the gentle anarchy of the time. I was always interested in figurative painting, and back then disappearing into the life room to study drawing had a hint of rebellion to it. 

These figurative studies culminated in a British Fulbright scholarship to study figurative painting and sculpture at the New York Academy of Art. However, fascinated by the City, I began to spend all of my time perched on the corners of busy New York streets, painting the compositional difficulties before me.

I had already made some tentative starts at the landscape in Cornwall, but New York really changed my direction. I began to see the potential in the landscape for abstraction and a more gestural use of paint. I have never given up the idea of a recognizable structure and composition in my paintings, but like to walk along that line where the content has a level of ambiguity, and breaks down our preconceptions about what we take to be real and self evident.

After returning to the UK from New York, I lived in Bristol during the academic year teaching figurative painting and drawing at the Queens Road School of Art and working from my studio. However, every summer I disappeared for a few months into the landscape to paint.

In 2002, I traveled in North America. During this time, I completed series of large, plein air, oil paintings; traveling from a remote beach in Baja, Mexico, to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, an artists’ ranch near Tucson, and then down into the Deep South to paint in the density of the humidity of the Tombigbee River in the state of Mississippi.

Challenged by the gothic shadows and shimmering, humid light, I returned to Mississippi regularly, living for long periods in both the rural center of the state and the Gulf Coast. The shadows were deep and barbaric, and the light, lensed by the atmosphere, created a depth of color that I had not previously experienced.

The composition of this landscape also challenged my expectations. I was used to a formalized landscape because Europe has been modified by centuries of land management and every part of every scene has an historical implication. The European landscape is subservient to the human need. The landscape of the Deep South is surly in comparison! I felt not so much a distance, but a mutual respect between the people and the land - almost a stand off between the natural world and the inroads made by civilization.

This standoff reached a catastrophic conclusion when Hurricane Katrina swept across my home in Gulfport, Mississippi, in August of 2005. Not only did I lose gallery representation in the devastated city of New Orleans, but my actual subject matter – the landscape – lay in ruins.

After three years of sifting through the debris, and only three completed paintings, I relocated to the Desert Southwest. The artists’ community of Jerome, Arizona, proved a respite from storm surges and hurricanes, and gave me time to step back and create a number of series of work in the remoteness of the desert.

In 2012, I moved to Northern Virginia, where I am currently painting full-time. In 2014, I exhibited new Virginia work with my wife, a ceramist, at the Arts Center of Orange in Orange, Virginia, and we currently have an exhibition of work from Arizona, Mexico and Virginia at the Schlesinger Center at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia.

Clive Pates CV


Selected Solo and Two-person Exhibitions



In and of the Earth: Clive and Virginia Pates, Fisher Gallery, Schlesinger Center, Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, Virginia.


From Oak Creek to the Accotink: Clive and Virginia Pates, Orange Center for the Arts, Orange, Virginia.

Clive Pates: Recent Paintings, Joie de Vivre Gallery, Cambridge, Maryland.


Darkness and Light: Clive and Virginia Pates, RLV Gallery, Rancho Linda Vista Arts Community, Oracle, Arizona.


Clive Pates: Recent Work, RLV Gallery, Rancho Linda Vista Arts Community, Oracle, Arizona.

Form to Light to Colour: Clive and Virginia Pates, Old Jerome High School Studios, Jerome, Arizona.


Travelling Dialogue: Clive and Virginia Pates, Meridian Community College, Meridian, Mississippi.

Travelling Dialogue: Clive and Virginia Pates, Yavapai College, Clarkdale, Arizona.


Clive Pates: Recent Paintings, Sylvia Schmidt Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana, (Cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina).


Clive Pates: Recent Paintings, Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, Mississippi.

Clive Pates: Twenty Minutes of Light, Gallery 119, Jackson, Mississippi.


Clive Pates: From the Sea of Cortez to the Tombigbee River, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS.

Clive Pates: The Light in August, Sylvia Schmidt Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Clive Pates: Portraits, Rood Contemporary Fine Art, Bristol, England.


Clive Pates: Recent Work, Department of Art Gallery, Mississippi State University.

Clive Pates: Landscape Retrospective, Rood Contemporary Fine Art, Bristol, England.


Clive Pates: New York Cityscapes , Parkview Gallery, Bristol, England.


Selected Group Exhibitions



Annual Exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland.


Pride, Artistic Alliance, Ballymaloe House, County Cork, Ireland.                 


The Greatest Earth on Show, Western Landscapes at the Phippen Museum, Prescott, Arizona.


40 for 40, 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Rancho Linda Vista Arts Community, Oracle, Arizona.

The Will to Endure, George Ohr Museum, Biloxi, Mississippi.


MAC and Andy Show, Warhol Grant Awards at The Cedars, Jackson, Mississippi.

Fall Juried Exhibition, American Academy of Equine Art, Lexington, Kentucky.


Mississippi Invitational, Mississippi Museum of Art.

Tucson Plein Air Painters' Society "Plein Air 2005", Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona.


Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters’ “Painting in the Park”, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Plein Air Landscapes, Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park, Estes Park, Colorado.


Drawings, Mark Humphries Gallery, New York.           

Second Open Sculpture Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England.


First Open Sculpture Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England.


BP Portrait Award, selected for exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London.


Awards and Recognition


Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Mississippi: Work Placed in Permanent Collection.

Phippen Museum of Western Art, Prescott, Arizona: Work Placed in Permanent Collection.


Arizona Commission on the Arts Teaching Artists Roster.


Mississippi Arts Commission Mini-Grant for Travelling Dialogue catalogue.


Andy Warhol Foundation Grant.

Mississippi Arts Commission Business Grant.


Mississippi Arts Commission / NEA Visual Arts Fellowship Grant.


Elected to the Mississippi Artists Roster.


Third Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.


Second Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.


First Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant.


Fulbright Scholarship, MFA studies in Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art.

Warhol Foundation Scholarship.

Posey Foundation Scholarship.

Special Commendation in Sculpture, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, England.



2013 Artistic Alliance Residency, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland.

2012 Resident Artist, Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle, Arizona.

2010 Resident Artist, Verrocchio Arts Centre, Casole D’Elsa, Siena, Italy.

2008 Resident Artist, Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle, Arizona.

2005 Resident Artist, Rancho Linda Vista, Oracle, Arizona.

2001 Robert Fleming Residency, Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, Scotland.

2000 Roundstone Open Arts Residency, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.

2000 Resident Artist, Verrocchio Arts Centre, Casole D’Elsa, Siena, Italy.

1999 Juliet Gomperts Tuscany Residency, Casolé d’Elsa, Siena, Italy.



1996 Post-graduate work in Figurative Studies at the Art Students League, New York City.     

1995 MFA Study, British Fulbright Scholar in Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art, NYC.

1993 Post-graduate Degree, (Drawing and Foundry), University of the West of England, Bristol, England.

1991 BFA awarded with First Class Honours, University of the West of England, Bristol, England.

1983 Foundation Degree in Art and Design, Cheltenham College of Art, Cheltenham, England.



2013 “Pride”, catalog for the exhibition.

2010 “Clive Pates: Desert Dweller”, Feature Article in Western Art Collector Magazine (November).

2008 “Travelling Dialogue”, catalogue for the exhibition.

2007  “The Will to Endure”, catalogue for the exhibition.

2005  “Mississippi Invitational”, catalogue for the exhibition.

2004  “Clive Pates”, Feature Article in Plein Air Magazine (October).

2003  “Clive Pates”, Southern Accents Magazine (May/June).



2008-2011 Adjunct Instructor in Plein Air Painting, Yavapai College Sedona Campus, Sedona, AZ.

2005-2012 Regional Editor for UK and Ireland, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine.

2010 Instructor in Plein Air Painting, Verrocchio Arts Center, Casole D’Elsa, Siena, Italy.

2006-2007 Adjunct Curator, Ohr Museum of Art, Biloxi, Mississippi.

2004 Instructor in Plein Air Painting, Columbus Arts Council, Columbus, MS.

2003-2005 Editor for UK and Ireland, Plein Air Magazine.

1999-2003 Lecturer in Life Drawing and Painting, Queens Road School of Art, Bristol, England.

1997 Sculptor – Madame Tussaud’s, London, England.