Clarence Major Interior


Clarence Major
Interior #2, 2004
Acrylic on canvas, 12” x 9”
Gift of the artist

Widely known for his literary achievements, Clarence Major is considered a serious painter, as well as a writer.  His dynamic, expressionistic paintings are alive with color, line and texture.  He has said, “I like to think that I am speaking (through paint) from the depths of my humanity and creativity.  I want to make paintings that seem to look back at you with intensity (Rilke).  Painting is the most important activity in my life.”  Intense, energetic and powerful, Looking Toward Winters #1 and Interior #2 are fine examples of Major’s expressive style.

Born in Atlanta, Clarence Major grew up in Chicago and studied at the Art Institute.  Later he earned a Ph.D. in both fine arts and literature.  His paintings have been widely exhibited nationally and are in many public and private collections.  Bernard Bell explores Major’s painting and writing in an illustrated book, Clarence Major and His Art: Portraits of an African American Post Modernist.  Major is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Davis.