(TORONTO – June 1, 2011) The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will open a unique exhibition featuring Canadian artist Kathleen Munn on June 4, on view until August 28. The Passion of Kathleen Munn will feature nearly 40 works by Munn, including her highly regarded Passion Series drawings, as well as paintings and prints that introduced Post-Impressionism to Canada beginning in the 1910s. In addition, the exhibition will be supported by archival material from the AGO’s collection, including sketches, notebooks, diagrams, collages and a custom-made light box.
Born in 1887 in Toronto, Kathleen Munn was one of the first Canadian artists to embrace abstraction. Little known yet much admired by fellow artists, Munn studied in New York, and during the 1920s travelled to Europe and exhibited with the Group of Seven. Around 1939, she stopped making art due to family obligations and an unresponsive art public in Toronto. She spent the rest of her life here in relative obscurity, only to be rediscovered a decade after her death in 1974.
The Passion of Kathleen Munn is a collaboration between the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW). Georgiana Uhlyarik, assistant curator, Canadian art at the AGO, has amassed important loans from private collections as well as archival material, with special focus on Munn’s work in the 1930s. Cassandra Getty of the AGW curated the travelling exhibition Kathleen Munn and Lowrie Warrener: The Logic of Nature, the Romance of Space, which surveys Munn’s career innovations. Together these form the AGO installation.
“In keeping with our dedication to collecting, exhibiting and researching work by Canadian artists, the AGO is pleased to launch The Passion of Kathleen Munn,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the AGO. “Munn’s work was groundbreaking in the history of Canadian art and merits the attention of a wider audience. This exhibition beautifully combines her innovative work with fascinating aspects of her life and process.”