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In penetrating Anna Kirkpatrick’s pictorial universe one is struck immediately by the omnipresence of color—warm and delicately applied as on Mediterranean facades faded by the combined action of sun and time. It is in those regions bordering the Mediterranean that Anna Kirkpatrick dips down into the essential of her inspiration. Landed in France in 1988 she spent seven years in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence where she painted and exhibited in numerous foundations and galleries including the Vasarely foundation in 1990 and 1993.


Tired of the frantic and superficial life of southern cities she discovered Autun in 1990 and quickly yielded to the city of a glorious past and its neighboring region the Morvan. Since 1995 she resides in her “hideout” of the “hauts quartiers”. There, in the shelter of the St. Lazarus Cathedral, she finds a calm and authenticity nurturing to her work.
A quest for spirituality and authenticity is found deeply inscribed in her artistic approach. For beyond the radiance of her colors a simplicity, even a sort of naiveté--not unlike those of wall frescoes ornamenting prehistoric caves-- is revealed.


Romanesque art, of which the cathedral of Autun is one of the most beautiful realizations, inspires this artist by its paring down and going to the essence of things. Without concern for faithful reproduction of the world it seeks rather an evocation of mystery and faith. As Anna Kirkpatrick rightly says Romanesque art goes to depths—reality lies behind things. Although among her works there are certain figurative paintings (of which the most recent show the medieval beauty of the upper town of Autun) a greater part are abstract and rejoin a thirst for spirituality particular to Romanesque architecture. Equally, African art, by the simplicity of its realization in approaching the sacred, is an inspiration


As much as her creative work is nourished by the past, Anna Kirkpatrick follows the example of her model in modern painting, Paul Klee, in a research of pictorial grounds. She enjoys painting on successive layers of glued paper (made in India or Nepal of vegetable fibers) that once wet become like a soft paste and create a roughness and patina which usually only time gives to objects. Also in the composition of a painting she deftly integrates iconoclastic techniques and materials of chalk, pen, natural objects such as wood, strings of jute, or newspaper for collage.

After an exhibition last April in Geneva she has now chosen to exhibit her works in Autun. Of her city of adoption and inspiration she also appreciates the kindness of the inhabitants whom she describes as “warmer and less distrustful than those of Aix-en-Provence”. Thus Autun a town known for its history lives once again in the present thanks to the works of sensitive talented artists such as Anna Kirkpatrick.

The opening of the exhibition will be held Saturday, July 27 from 6-8 pm at the restaurant “Le petit Banc”, 4 rue de Banc. The “Duo” created in Zurich in 1995, Judith Rohr violin, and James Szenogrady will interpret melodies of Bach, Schmeizer, Pagannni

Photo: Anna Kirkpatrick in her studio in the company of her Boston Terrier, Fanny.