Edith Stipl, Slicing #7 (2004), oil on panel [Jennifer Kostuik Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 2-26]
Edith Stipl moved to Vancouver in 1999 from Prague, where she had earned a BFA and MFA in the Theory and History of Fine Arts at the University of Palacky.
In landscapes painted on slim panels, Stipl conveys both delicacy and a sense of enormity. Her images are quintessentially Canadian in execution and feeling, with that limitless sense of distance in the big skies and the aura of fertility in the land. At the same time the paintings appear to be created gently, even preciously.
As Stipl points out, forest and landscape have the ability to simultaneously be abstract and representational. She emphasizes this tendency by cropping the views into thin slices, a technique that charges them with what has been described as atmosphere and energy. Stipls skies seem to breathe outwards, emitting great puffs of soft colour. In the more decorative works, she assembles vertical slices side-by-side. Their complementary colours visually pop in alternating pieces, and the undulating horizons create strong visual rhythms.