Where: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W
When: May 31 – September 4, 2023
Cost: Tickets can be purchased at ago.ca/exhibitions/cassatt-mcnicoll-impressionists-between-worlds
Details: Cassatt – McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds is a revelatory portrait of artistic ambition, showcasing the talents and impact of Mary Cassatt and Helen McNicoll, Impressionist painters whose lives were as unconventional as their paintings were bold. Featuring 50 paintings and works on paper, alongside sketchbooks and archival materials the exhibition marks the first major presentation of paintings and prints by Mary Cassatt in Canada. Curated by Dr. Caroline Shields, the AGO’s Curator of European Art, the exhibition is organized by the AGO, home to the largest public collection of McNicoll’s work in the world.
At a moment when most women were denied advanced art education and professional recognition, Cassatt (American, 1844-1926) and McNicoll (Canadian, 1879-1915), crossed the Atlantic to pursue careers as professional artists. Their beautifully detailed paintings and novel compositions challenged expectations of what a painting should look like and how women were portrayed. Working in what was then the radical style of Impressionism – an approach emphasizing colour, light and everyday subjects – their highly constructed paintings dared to present women and children as dynamic subjects with rich interior lives. In posing female models at work and in contemplation, caregiving and resting, indoors and out, they gave visual form to the modern woman.
Organized thematically, this is the first exhibition to feature these two North American artists side by side. Spotlighting their shared pursuit of professional status, it highlights their unique approaches to art and life, from their networking strategies, to the ways they composed and exhibited their paintings.
Programming Highlights (Advanced tickets required/AGO Members receive a discount):
Beginning June 1 at 2pm, the AGO presents the film Mary Cassatt: Painting the Modern Woman by director Ali Ray in Jackman Hall. Visit ago.ca/events/mary-cassatt-painting-modern-woman.
June 14 at 7pm art historians Nicole Georgopulos and Samantha Burton join Caroline Shields, Curator, European Art, in Jackman Hall for a panel discussion on the art of Mary Cassatt and Helen McNicoll, entitled Impressionists Between Worlds. Visit ago.ca/events/panel-impressionists-between-worlds.
June 23 from 7 to 9pm AGO Curator of European Art Caroline Shields delivers her curator talk in Baillie Court about the original AGO exhibition Cassatt – McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds. Visit ago.ca/events/curators-talk-impressionists-between-worlds.
July 11 at 10am the AGO’s Senior Social program returns for art-making and conversation, inspired by the intimate interiors of Canadian Impressionist painter Helen McNicoll. For more details and to register for this live Zoom event, visit ago.ca/events/seniors-social-intimate-interiors.