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Modernisms Inside & Out: Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Conference

September 28 - October 2

Modernisms Inside & Out: Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Conference

September 30 – October 2, 2021


About the event

This September, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection will launch Uninvited, a major exhibition on women and art in the 1920s and 30s.  The exhibition offers an important opportunity to reassess women’s visual and material engagements with the modern as a cultural force in Canada.

The social changes effected by modernization brought significant advances for many women: full legal personhood, new careers, the vote and increasing opportunities for public and artistic leadership. For others, however, modernity produced further exclusion and repression. As racialized rhetoric intensified, immigration policy tightened and settlers sought to eliminate Indigenous cultural expression or confine it to the past. Economic transformation endangered pre-industrial ways of life and their attendant cultural forms, but also stimulated new kinds of artistic production.

How did the visual and material cultures of Canadian women position them both inside and outside of the modern? And how does the art made by women turn modernism itself inside‑out?

Join art historians, curators and contemporary artists as they respond to these issues across all forms of material and visual culture during the fourth conference of the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, which is dedicated to examining the idea of the modern as a cultural force in Canada.

This conference is a partnership between Concordia University, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Ryerson University’s Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre.

Free — Registration Required

Suzanne Duquet (1916–2000), Group, 1941, oil on canvas, 127 × 149.8 cm, Collection of the Musée national des beauxarts du Québec, Gift of the artist, 1996.94, Photo: MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kerouac, © Estate of the artist

Arthur Lismer (1885–1969), Emily Carr and the Group of Seven, c. 1927, conté crayon on paper, 9.6 x 15.8 cm, Gift of The Robert and Signe McMichael Trust, 2011.2.24

Anne Savage (1896–1971), Temlaham, Upper Skeena River, 1927, oil on canvas, 56 x 71.5 cm, © Estate of Anne D. Savage


September 28
October 2
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10365 Islington Ave
Kleinburg, Ontario L0J1C0 Canada
1(905) 893-1121


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