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Kathleen Munn: Life & Work by Georgiana Uhlyarik

Collection by Art Canada Institute

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Recognized in the 1920s and 1930s as one of the country’s most significant female artists, Munn (1887–1974) exhibited with the Group of Seven but developed a geometrically based spiritual vision that was entirely her own. Read or download the online art book here: http://www.aci-iac.ca/kathleen-munn

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Munn in her Toronto studio in the Wooden Shack, Converted Barn, Canada, Canadian Artists, Tent Camping, Online Art, 1930s, Book Art, Toronto

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Munn in her Toronto studio in the 1930s.

Munn’s “Mother and Child,” (c. Art Gallery of Hamilton) reimagines the Virgin and Child composition with the mother as a monumental figure, heroic in her nudity, fully cradling the small child within her shape. Art Gallery Of Hamilton, Group Of Seven, Canada, Mother And Child, Art Boards, Online Art, Book Art, Children, Painting

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Munn’s “Mother and Child,” (c. 1930, Art Gallery of Hamilton) reimagines the Virgin and Child composition with the mother as a monumental figure, heroic in her nudity, fully cradling the small child within her shape.

A Breezy Day, 1903 Farquhar McGillivray Knowles Canadian, 1859 - 1932 Oil on canvas Overall: x cm Gift of North American Life Assurance Company, Toronto, 1996 © 2013 Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto Art Gallery, Art Gallery Of Ontario, Group Of Seven, Canada, American Life, Canadian Artists, Large Art, Art Day, Online Art

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Munn’s formal art training began when she attended Westbourne School in Toronto from 1904 to 1907, taught by successful landscape painter Farquhar McGillivray Knowles. McGillivray Knowles, “A Breezy Day,” 1903, Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 1912 Munn began studies at the Art Students League, New York where she experimented with Post-Impressionism, Cubism, and Synchromism—a decision that distinguished her from most of her Canadian contemporaries. Frank O Hara, Group Of Seven, Art Students League, Starred Up, Canada, Post Impressionism, Art Series, Jackson Pollock, Canadian Artists

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In 1912 Munn began studies at the Art Students League, New York where she experimented with Post-Impressionism, Cubism, and Synchromism—a decision that distinguished her from most of her Canadian contemporaries.

Munn recorded her studies in New York in nine notebooks. Kathleen Munn’s notebooks, Art Gallery of Ontario. Art Gallery Of Ontario, Group Of Seven, Canada, Online Art, Notebooks, Book Art, Gallery Wall, York, Artist

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Munn recorded her studies in New York in nine notebooks. Kathleen Munn’s notebooks, Art Gallery of Ontario.

Bertram Brooker was Munn’s primary conduit into an important intellectual circle that included key members of the Group of Seven. Portrait of Bertram Brooker, National Gallery of Canada. Group Of Seven, Canada, Canadian Artists, Online Art, Biography, Book Art, Spirituality, Female, Portrait

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Bertram Brooker was Munn’s primary conduit into an important intellectual circle that included key members of the Group of Seven. Portrait of Bertram Brooker, National Gallery of Canada.

On an envelope dated May Kathleen Munn listed “some of the things I did right and … my present thinking.” Art Gallery of Ontario. Art Gallery Of Ontario, Group Of Seven, Canada, Canadian Artists, Online Art, Biography, Book Art, Envelope, Life

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On an envelope dated May 28, 1974, Kathleen Munn listed “some of the things I did right and … my present thinking.” Art Gallery of Ontario.

Kathleen Munn, Untitled (Study of Cows), c. Canadian Painters, Canadian Artists, Elaine De Kooning, Impressionist, Online Art, Oil On Canvas, Book Art, Canada, Study

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Munn’s first truly modern paintings are, extraordinarily, of cows, chickens, and pigs. Such pastoral subject matter was popular in Europe and North America in the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. “Untitled (Study of Cows),” c. 1910, private collection.

Munn’s painting “Untitled (Cows on a Hillside),” (c. Art Gallery of Ontario) is closely related to those of contemporary German Expressionist painter Franz Marc and others associated with the Blaue Reiter group. Art Gallery Of Ontario, Sarah Moon, Moon Painting, Canada, Irish Art, European Paintings, Canadian Artists, Art Google, Contemporary Artists

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Munn’s painting “Untitled (Cows on a Hillside),” (c. 1916, Art Gallery of Ontario) is closely related to those of contemporary German Expressionist painter Franz Marc and others associated with the Blaue Reiter group.

Munn is remarkable for her commitment to the nude as an important subject in art, especially in light of the well-documented discomfort of Toronto audiences in the and with such paintings. “Untitled (Nude in Forest),” c. Canadian Painters, Canadian Artists, Picasso, Famous Art Pieces, Geometric Sculpture, Cubism Art, Canada, Pulp Art, Art Blog

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Munn is remarkable for her commitment to the nude as an important subject in art, especially in light of the well-documented discomfort of Toronto audiences in the 1920s and 1930s with such paintings. “Untitled (Nude in Forest),” c. 1923, private collection.

This work demonstrates how, by the early Munn had refined her experimentations with colour to achieve a rhythm and composition akin to musicality, an attribute much sought after by artists engaged with abstraction. “The Dance,” c. Canadian Painters, Canadian Artists, Abstract Painters, Abstract Art, Art Gallery Of Ontario, Female Painters, Cubism Art, Haida Gwaii, Georges Braque

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This work demonstrates how, by the early 1920s, Munn had refined her experimentations with colour to achieve a rhythm and composition akin to musicality, an attribute much sought after by artists engaged with abstraction. “The Dance,” c. 1923, private collection.

Munn painted few still lifes, but she was inspired by paintings of apples by Paul Cézanne and often drew this subject. Munn, “Still Life,” c. Art Gallery of Alberta. Art Gallery Of Alberta, Paul Cézanne, Group Of Seven, Canada, Canadian Artists, Muted Colors, Online Art, Apples, Still Life

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Munn painted few still lifes, but she was inspired by paintings of apples by Paul Cézanne and often drew this subject. Munn, “Still Life,” c. 1925, Art Gallery of Alberta.

Munn was particularly proud of “Composition (Reclining Nude),” (c. She included it in the 1928 Group of Seven exhibition and made a monoprint based on this composition. Group Of Seven, Online Art, Book Art, Canada, Artist, Composition, Nude, Paintings, Collection

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Munn was particularly proud of “Composition (Reclining Nude),” (c. 1926–28, private collection). She included it in the 1928 Group of Seven exhibition and made a monoprint based on this composition.

“Untitled (Deposition),” (c. National Gallery of Canada) belongs to the second group of paintings in Munn’s “Passion” series, which were likely produced into the Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Female Painters, Group Of Seven, Canada, Canadian Art, Cubism, Art Blog, Art For Sale

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“Untitled (Deposition),” (c. 1926–28, National Gallery of Canada) belongs to the second group of paintings in Munn’s “Passion” series, which were likely produced into the 1930s.

Munn’s “Untitled I,” (c. National Gallery of Canada) is among the first purely abstract paintings made in Canada. Group Of Seven, Canada, Canadian Artists, Online Art, Les Oeuvres, Book Art, Colours, Gallery, Abstract Paintings

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Munn’s “Untitled I,” (c. 1926–28, National Gallery of Canada) is among the first purely abstract paintings made in Canada.

The title word “composition” from Munn’s painting “Composition (Horses),” (c. Art Gallery of Alberta) attests to her affinity with the ideas of art and spirituality of Wassily Kandinsky, discussed in his key text “Concerning the Spiritual in Art. Art Gallery Of Alberta, Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Cow Painting, Wassily Kandinsky, Canadian Artists, Installation Art, Art Blog, Online Art

Art Canada Institute - Institut de l'art canadien

The title word “composition” from Munn’s painting “Composition (Horses),” (c. 1927, Art Gallery of Alberta) attests to her affinity with the ideas of art and spirituality of Wassily Kandinsky, discussed in his key text “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.”