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Carr, O'Keeffe, Kahlo: Places of Their Own

June 30 – September 9, 2001


All art is a sort of hidden autobiography. The problem of the painter is to tell what he knows and feels in such a form that he still, as it were, keeps his secret.
Lewis Mumford

Few North American women artists have achieved the legendary stature of Emily Carr (1871-1945, Canadian), Frida Kahlo (1907-1954, Mexican) and Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986, American). In their native countries, each has a secure artistic reputation as an outstanding woman painter of the century. Collectively, their work gives form to a mythos of North America, linking region and nationality to larger forces at work in Western consciousness. Places of Their Own, was inspired by Dr Sharyn Udall’s book of the same name. Dr Udall, of New Mexico is our guest curator and brings to the exhibition not only her extensive knowledge of Carr, Kahlo and O'Keeffe’s art, but also additional insight into the life and characteristics of these women, gleaned during research for her book.

The exhibition comprises more than 60 paintings which are revelatory. There is much we can never know about the inner workings of an artist’s mind, but there is much we can learn-much that emerges in the process of comparing creative lives and achievements.

The exhibition will invite comparison without imposing it. In their searches for identity, for example, Carr, Kahlo and O’Keeffe shared a number of important concerns. How was each artist’s self consciousness reflected? How did these women relate to an art world in which the masculine is privileged? And how did they respond to the feminine in themselves?

Carr, O’Keeffe and Kahlo each rooted herself in a part of the Americas, and reinvented the image of that place in her paintings. This exhibition probes the unique, sometimes conflicted identities developed within lives imprinted with courage, passion and integrity.

Carr, O’Keeffe, Kahlo:Places of Their Own opens at the McMichael on June 30, 2001. Following its display at the gallery, the exhibition will tour to the Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Women in Art, Washington, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.

The Story

Venue Dates
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Kleinburg, Ontario
June 30 – September 9, 2001

Santa Fe Museum of Fine Arts
Santa Fe, New Mexico
October 5, 2001 – January 7, 2002

National Museum of Women in Art
Washington, D.C.
February 7 – May 12, 2002

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver, B.C.
June 15 – September 15, 2002

Presented by Bell Canada

With support from the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund


Forest by Emily Carr

Emily Carr , 1871-1945
Forest, c.1933
Gift of Dr. and Mrs Max Stern, Dominion Gallery, Montreal

Dark Tree Trunks

Georgia O'Keefe, 1887-1986
Dark Tree Trunks, 1946
oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Bequest of Georgia O'Keefe

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