Landscape with Goat: Drawings by Ann Kipling

Marion Scott Gallery/Kardosh Projects, Vancouver, BC -

By Michael Turner
Now in her 85th year, Falkland-based artist Ann Kipling is among a handful of BC artists who have produced work at a consistently high level for more than half a century. That she has achieved an equally high level of recognition for her work (much of it focused on a lifelong drawing practice) is even more remarkable, given the ebb and flow of art world trends. In this exhibition, spanning a 55-year period, Kipling is represented through 25 carefully selected works on paper.
At the centre of the exhibition are Kipling’s much-lauded goat works. Often rendered in conté and chalk pastel on coloured paper, the drawings give every indication that they were done en plein air, the artist’s hand in pursuit of the moving fi gure – her eyes on the goat, if rarely on the paper. Each drawing is never one goat but many, likely the same goat on top of itself, its twitchiness caught and registered in the form of a jerking herd, its colours old and earthy, like those found in the caves at Lascaux.
In addition to goats, the exhibition features a number of landscapes and portraits. In Forest (1962), Kipling uses watercolour and gouache to evoke a bustling world that has more in common with a psychedelic Renaissance fair than any birds-and-fi r idyll. In the pen-and-ink untitled (landscape) (1997), the viewer is looking down from what could be Falkland’s Tuktakamin Mountain. As with her goat and forest works, nothing is static. Here, trees seek the clouds at the end of each breath.

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