Kathleen Munn (1887–1974) was a pioneering Canadian painter and exponent of international modernism.
In 1912 Munn left her native Toronto to begin her studies at the Art Students League in New York City. She developed a devotion to international modernism and by 1920 "her style had evolved from the loose colourful brushwork of Impressionism to the more hard-edge geometric fragmentation of natural form". This resulted from her study of the French artist Paul Cézanne.
Philosophy of Art
Munn kept extensive notebooks and she read constantly about colour theory whilst embracing an intellectual and spiritual approach to art. Her extensive reading on Cubism and the relationship between colour and music attracted her to the tenets of theosophy and a variety of Eastern religions.
Munn sought to convey spiritual truths within a formal order "like her colleague and admirer Lawren Harris". She was invited to contribute to the 1928 Group of Seven exhibition and submitted her work Composition. The work was purchased later on by Bertram Brooker who praised the painting for its "musicality".
In her day, most Toronto art critics were not sure of her pioneering innovations. However she was noted as "one of the ablest...of women painters and one of the most advanced".
- Newlands, Anne (2000). Canadian Art: From Its Beginnings To 2000. Firefly Books Ltd. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-55209-450-1.
- Uhlyarik, Georgiana (2014): Kathleen Munn, Life and Work: an e-Book, Art Canada Institute, http://www.aci-iac.ca/kathleen-munn