In New York, Clark frequented the Cedar Tavern, the famous Greenwich Village artist’s boite, and his circle quickly grew as he befriended the likes of Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Whitten, Yayoi Kusama, and Donald Judd. Though his work was shown abroad, Clark did not have a New York solo exhibition between 1958 and 1971. His solo show in ‘71 was held in Judd’s loft.
In the pages of BOMB, Clark told Whitten that he “never had a white [dealer] . . . I couldn’t get into a commercial gallery where a white person was running it.” He was deeply spiteful of being labeled a “black artist.” In 1974, the Museum of Modern Art selected about a half dozen of Clark’s paintings from an exhibition at the SoHo gallery 141 Prince Street to show at the museum. But when Clark found out the works were to be included in a MoMA exhibition that would be described as a show of Black Art, he personally went to the museum and removed the paintings from the wall.