Munn, Warrener & Brooker: Modernist Pioneers
April 27 to May 23, 2019

Gallery Gevik is pleased to present an exhibition of oil paintings and works on paper by Canadian modernist painters Kathleen Munn (1887-1974), Lowrie Warrener (1900-1983), and Bertram Brooker (1888-1955). In the wake of the Group of Seven’s impressionist influence, these artists embraced abstraction and enjoyed a unique fellowship. Bertram Brooker was a source of encouragement to the lesser known Munn and Warrener, remarking that their respective approaches to art-making demonstrated an entirely new conception of the universe and of life.

Kathleen Munn

Figurative Abstraction
Figurative Abstraction
oil on canvas, 21 3/4" × 16 3/4"
Red Hillssold
Red Hills
oil on canvas, 17" × 19¾"
Still Life with Lemonsold
Still Life with Lemon
graphite on paper, 9 3/4" × 11 3/4"
Still Life with Pear, Apple and Jugsold
Still Life with Pear, Apple and Jug
oil on canvas, 14 1/2" × 12"
Agony in the Garden (Passion Series)
Agony in the Garden (Passion Series), c. 1934
ink wash on paper, 15" × 22"
Early Morning (Landscape)sold
Early Morning (Landscape)
oil on board, 8 1/4" × 10 1/4"
oil on board, 8 1/4" × 10 1/4"
Landscape with Pine
Landscape with Pine
graphite on paper, 11" × 15"
Portrait of Man Readingsold
Portrait of Man Reading
ink on paper, 17" × 13 1/2"
Reclining Female Figuresold
Reclining Female Figure
graphite on paper, 11" × 18"
Standing Female Nude (Front)
Standing Female Nude (Front)
charcoal on paper, 16 3/4" × 13 3/4"
Still Life with Five Apples on Dishsold
Still Life with Five Apples on Dish
graphite on paper, 10" × 13"
Still Life with Green Peppersold
Still Life with Green Pepper
graphite on paper, 11" × 8"
Still Life with Vase, Pear, and Bowl
Still Life with Vase, Pear, and Bowl
mixed media on paper, 16 1/2" × 12 1/2"
Study of Figures in Agony Isold
Study of Figures in Agony I
graphite on paper, 8" × 10"
Study of Figures in Agony II
Study of Figures in Agony II
graphite on paper, 10" × 8"
Study of Three Crossessold
Study of Three Crosses
graphite on paper, 10" × 8"

Lowrie Warrener

From Our Window
From Our Window, 1960
charcoal on onion skin, 15" × 12"
Limberlost-4 (Lake of Bays, Muskoka)sold
Limberlost-4 (Lake of Bays, Muskoka), 1943
oil on board, 10" × 12"
Limberlost-5 (Lake of Bays, Muskoka)
Limberlost-5 (Lake of Bays, Muskoka), 1943
oil on board, 10" × 12"
oil on board, 12" × 14"
Untitled (Abstraction)
Untitled (Abstraction)
oil on board, 12" × 14"
Untitled (Country House)
Untitled (Country House), 1942
gouache on paper, 13" × 20"
Untitled (Figure on a Road in Winter)sold
Untitled (Figure on a Road in Winter)
oil on board, 12" × 15"
Untitled (Tree on Shoreline - Muskoka)sold
Untitled (Tree on Shoreline - Muskoka)
oil on board, 12" × 15"

Bertram Brooker

Double Bass
Double Bass, 1953-1954
oil on canvas, 30" × 24"
Green Bottle
Green Bottle, c.1937
oil on board, 15" × 11½"
Lone Tree
Lone Tree
oil on board, 15" × 11½"
Road-Side Shrine, Quebec
Road-Side Shrine, Quebec, 1946
watercolour on paper, 13½" × 10½"
Shoes, c.1936
oil on board, 12" × 14"
#13 Study of Trees
#13 Study of Trees, 1933
pencil on paper, 11½" × 8½"
Tree Top No.6
Tree Top No.6, 1931
pencil on paper, 11" × 14"
Umbrella Tree
Umbrella Tree, 1950
oil on masonite, 30" × 24"
The Finite Wrestling with the Infinitesold
The Finite Wrestling with the Infinite, 1925
oil on board, 24" × 17"


About the Artists

Kathleen Munn, born in 1887 in Toronto, trained under Farquhar and Elizabeth McGillivary Knowles who encouraged her to go to New York in 1912 where she studied at the Art Students League and a won a prestigious student prize. When she returned to her family home on Spadina Road in 1918, she had fully embraced the avant-garde, having been influenced by Cubism and Futurism. She began to reinterpret conventional subjects through this lens - quiet pastoral scenes and classical nudes - creating daring criss-cross compositions of red, purple, green and yellow. Combining mythical aspects of modernism with her own spiritual beliefs, Munn's artistic practice culminated in her greatest series, the Passion of the Christ, in the late 1920s. Munn was not religious but was a passionate humanist and strove to find a modern expression for religious subject matter. Equally passionate and determined, Brooker's encouragement complemented Munn's ambition; he was her greatest supporter and promoted her as a pioneering talent.

Born in Sarnia, Ontario in 1900, Lowrie Warrener studied sculpture at the Ontario College of Art with Emmanuel Hahn (1881-1957). He left for Europe in 1924 to attend the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp where his teachers recognized his talent, comparing him to Van Gogh and Gauguin and invited him to represent Belgium in the Prix de Rome competition. Warrener returned to Ontario in 1925 and embarked on a sketching expedition of Georgian Bay with Carl Schaefer, George Pepper and Hahn, culminating in a 121-work solo exhibition in Sarnia in 1926, as well as group exhibitions at Toronto's National Exhibition, and the National Gallery of Canada. Warrener's paintings stood out from those of his peers, distilling familiar northern landscapes into jewel-like compositions of delineated shapes, and broad planes. His northern shorelines and mountain-scapes are romantic, grandiose and suspenseful. An accomplished set designer, it was through theatre that Warrener met Brooker, who deemed him a fellow spiritual artist, working with "lines, curves, whirls, and flame-like rhythms, which flow through every manifestation of nature."

Bertram Brooker was born in Croydon, England in 1888 and immigrated to Canada in 1905. In 1921, he moved to Toronto and joined the staff of Marketing Magazine becoming its editor and publisher in 1925. He soon discovered a passion for painting and began experimenting with abstract shapes and forms. In 1927, a solo exhibition of his works caused a sensation at the Arts and Letters Club - receiving praise from David Milne and A.Y. Jackson. At the time, he was one of only a few Canadian painters to have solo shows at both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.

Both Warrener and Munn participated regularly in gatherings known as the Brooker artist roundtables along with Will Ogilvie, Charles Comfort, and Lionel LeMoine Fitzgerald. While it's difficult to determine who influenced who, the development of these three artists was a passionate, inclusive dialogue that lasted for years. Recently, Munn, Warrener and Brooker have benefited from a repositioning in our historical canon as artists who were truly ahead of their time.

Note: sold indicates the piece has been sold.

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" is now open at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario until January 21st, 2018. Afterwards, it will travel to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton and the Glenbow Museum in Calgary.

This exhibition was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)

Rita LetendreGallery Gevik congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This exhibition, which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major national public and private collections.

Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups, Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. Click here for more details.