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Clute, Judith

Entry updated 11 March 2024. Tagged: Artist.

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(1942-    ) Canadian artist, active from 1961, in the UK from 1969; married to John Clute from 1964. Her work as an illustrator of fantastic fiction has been of less importance than her work as a painter and etcher, though she has done interior work for various magazines, and covers from the 1970s for books by various authors including John Clute, Colin Greenland, Joe Haldeman, Elizabeth Hand, Roz Kaveney, Joanna Russ, Henry Wessells and Gary K Wolfe. When it succeeds, this work is illuminative of the inner motion of texts, with relatively little attention paid to the visual instruments of sf; much of her work as a painter – examples include "Footpads of Darwin" (1994), a kind of snapshot of the gallantry of speciation (see Evolution), or "Punctuated Equilibrium" (2014), which could be taken as a very indirect illumination of the Uplift theme in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – can be seen as paraphrastically related to sf topoi, as argued in Geoff Ryman's Judith Clute's Tantalizing 37th Album: A Catalogue in the Form of CD Liner Notes (graph coll 2019). The 120 works reproduced in Masques of the Disappeared: 1971-2023 (graph 2023) are representative of her sophisticated gaming with narrative implications in the absence of literal stories to illustrate; much of this work can be seen as world-facing (see Fantastika). [JC]

Judith Rosanne James Clute

born Edmonton, Alberta: 16 May 1942


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