The Passion of Kathleen Munn
June 4 to August 28, 2011
Art is an adventure not a habit.
This exhibition presents the exceptional work and unique achievements of Toronto artist Kathleen Munn (1887-1974). Little known yet much admired by fellow artists, Munn studied in New York, travelled to Europe, exhibited with the Group of Seven and during the 1920s was part of a community of artists and collectors who shaped Canadian art.
Munn was one of the first in the country to embrace abstraction, creating paintings in the 1910s rivaled only by those of Emily Carr and David Milne. Much like them, Munn transformed pastoral scenes and the human figure offering new ways of seeing the world. She was inspired by ancient Greek sculpture, Michelangelo and El Greco, as much as by Matisse, Picasso and Cezanne. Munn’s greatest achievement is in reimaging traditional subject matter into a powerful new expression in her Passion Series drawings (1928-1939). Around 1939, she stopped making art due to family obligations and an unresponsive art public in Toronto.
Rediscovered only after her death, Munn has since become a major figure in Canadian art, collected in important private and public collections. Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor, this exhibition features around 40 paintings and works on paper. The AGO installation will also feature related drawings and collages from her archives which reveal her unique working process. The catalogue is available in the bookshop.
On Sunday, July 17, artist David Urban and AGO curator Georgiana Uhlyarik led a tour of The Passion of Kathleen Munn exhibition.
Read Emily Landau's review of The Passion of Kathleen Munn in Toronto Life
Read Murray Whyte's review of The Passion of Kathleen Munn in The Toronto Star
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will open a unique exhibition featuring Canadian artist Kathleen Munn on June 4, on view until August 28