Ann Clarke, Breeze, 2016, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist. Photo: Mark Birksted
Ann Clarke: A Life in Motion
1 December 2023–28 March 2024
ON-SITE: Bader Gallery

Exhibition Celebration

1 December 2023

Members’ Preview, 5–6 pm
Not yet a member? Join now!

Public Reception, 6–9 pm
Party and music with Kingston-based DJ Kid Koncussion, 7:30–9 pm

Co-curated by Mark Birksted, Preparator
and Alicia Boutilier, Chief Curator/Curator of Canadian Historical Art

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.

Ann Clarke in her studio, Municipal Airport Hangar, Edmonton, 1973–1974. Courtesy of the artist.

Ann Clarke, Comet, 1985, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist. Photo: Mark Birksted

Born in Britain, Ann Clarke received her art education at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London University, graduating in 1966 with the Painting Prize. She came to Canada in 1968, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1973. She has lived in Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland. During 1969–1979, she was known as Ann Clarke Darrah. Clarke has taught at many institutions in Canada, including the Banff Centre, University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan, Red Deer College, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Queen’s and Guelph Universities. From 1992 she taught in the Department of Visual Arts at Lakehead University, retiring in 2009 as Professor Emerita. In 2008 Clarke was elected to membership of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. Since 1969 Clarke has had over forty solo exhibitions in Canada and since 1966 has shown work in more than ninety group shows in Britain, Canada and the United States. Her work is in public and private collections in Canada, Britain, the United States and Australia.

Hero image: Ann Clarke, Breeze (detail), 2016, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist. Photo: Mark Birksted
We are proud to announce that J.J.M. Investment Group CIBC Wood Gundy is the sponsor for Agnes’s exhibitions and related programs this season.
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