Ann Clarke recalls seeing J.M.W. Turner’s iconic Snow Storm as a child. “I felt as if my eyes had been peeled clean and were really working … It was the first time I had truly seen a painting and as I was standing there I thought: ‘That’s a good way to spend a life—that is what I will do.’” And she does.
From London to Edmonton, Halifax, Toronto, Tamworth, Thunder Bay, Newburgh and now Kingston, Clarke has pursued painting at every turn for six decades. As an artist and a teacher committed to her practice, Clarke brings deep understanding to how paint moves, how it carries colour and how it affects us as viewers. Whether pure abstraction or abstracted imagery, her approach continually distills materiality and perception in vibrant movement.
With national and international exhibitions and publications, Clarke’s record is significant, and she continues to paint today. This exhibition retrospective provides opportunity, in the stillness of a gallery, to look back at Clarke’s body of work with eyes “peeled clean” and to reflect on her distinctive contributions to the field, as one of Canada’s leading abstract painters for the last half century.