Kim Ondaatje


Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje
Kim Ondaatje

Kim OndaatjeKim Ondaatje was born Betty Jane Kimbark on October 2, 1928, in Toronto, Ontario. She grew up in Toronto and studied painting under the Canadian artist Yvonne McKague Housser and, in 1947, enrolled at the Ontario College of Art. In 1948 she began studies in the Fine Art program at McGill University, but later dropped out and chose to study English Literature, receiving an MA at McGill in 1954 while on a teaching fellowship.

Committing herself to painting full-time by the early 1960s, Ondaatje later became an award-winning printmaker, directed two art films and three documentaries, and published three books of photography. Alongside artists Jack Chambers and Tony Urquhart, Ondaatje co-founded and helped to develop Canadian Artists Representation (now CARFAC) in London in 1968 — one of the first artists’ unions of its kind anywhere. She has taught in the arts throughout her career, working for the London Public Gallery, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and for the outreach program of the Emily Carr College of Art in British Columbia and the Yukon. With many exhibitions of her paintings and prints in Canada and abroad, she has received national and international recognition. Ondaatje’s work is situated in a history of Canadian art after the internationalist nonobjective work of the Automatistes, the Regina Five, and Painters Eleven. She was married to the poet D.G. Jones, and later was married to the writer Michael Ondaatje. She has six children.

Awareness and respect for the environment have long been integral to Ondaatje’s art and life. In a 1973 interview with art historian Lora Senechal Carney, she reflected on her experience painting her large industrial landscapes (the Factory Series): “Factories were threatening but very fascinating … it was a very complex kind of experience. Anyone is concerned today, and as a mother of six children I’m very concerned about what’s happening to the environment.”

In 2009 Ondaatje received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Her work has also been the subject of major retrospectives, including the University of Toronto Art Centre’s Kim Ondaatje: Paintings 1950-1975 (2008), and Kim Ondaatje Museum London (2013), as well as comprehensive exhibitions at The Robert McGlaughlin Gallery (2014) and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre (2015). Curator Bruce Mau chose Ondaatje’s print Inco Slag Train for the 2018 Toronto exhibition Awakening, describing it as “very beautiful … a challenging image.” Ondaatje’s paintings and prints can be found in numerous collections, including The National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and The Robert McGlaughlin Gallery, among many others. In July 2018 her painting Hearn Plant, Toronto Harbour was chosen by curators Georgiana Uhlyarik and Wanda Nanibush to be included in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art.

Ondaatje has, for the past forty years, lived on her farm near Verona, Ontario, where she continues to work on her “final landscape,” a long-term garden project.

Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Retrospective Highlights work of Kim Ondaatje

Jan 8, 2015

Julie Druker


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Canadian Art

Kim Ondaatje: Factory and Fiction

July 31, 2008

Whitney Light


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Education

1943-47           Studied under the painter Yvonne McKague Housser

1947-48           Studied at Ontario College of Art

1952                Honours Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, McGill University, Montreal, QC

1954                Master of Arts, Canadian Literature, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

 

Solo Exhibitions

1967                Kim Ondaatje, Victoria College, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (fall)

1969                Kim Ondaatje: an exhibition of hard edge paintings ‘The House on Piccadilly Street’, McIntosh Gallery, London, ON (3 April to 24 April, 1969) (brochure)

Jerrold Morris Gallery, Toronto, ON (July)

1971                Selected works from The House of Piccadilly Street series, Merton Gallery, Toronto, ON (January)

Nancy Poole’s Studio, Toronto, ON (fall)

1972                Kim Ondaatje: Paintings and Prints, London Public Library and Art Museum, London, ON (7 January to 3 February); The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON (29 February to 19 March); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON (30 March to 23 April) (brochure)

1972 -9            The Artist with Their Work, Art Gallery of Ontario Extension Program, Toronto, ON

Participating artist in the Emily Carr College of Arts’ Outreach Program, British Columbia and the Yukon

1973                Factory Paintings, Nancy Poole’s Studio, Toronto and London, ON (12 May to 30 May and 9 June to 27 June respectively)

1973 -4            Kim Ondaatje: An Exhibition of Paintings, Prints and Film, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax, NS (November 1973); Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, NB (January 1974); Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB (February 1974); Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI (organizer) (March 1974); Memorial University Art Gallery, St. John’s, NL (May 1974) (brochure)

1974                One woman exhibition, in conjunction with the V International Biennial of Graphic Art, Krakow, Poland, later travelling to: China; East Germany; Poland; Latvia and Russia

Kim Ondaatje: Paintings and Serigraphs, Glendon College Art Gallery, Toronto, ON (11 November to 29 November, extended to 6 December)

1977                Kim Ondaatje, Scarborough College, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON (14 November to 5 December)

1981                Quilts, Print and Old Ontario Homes, Cedar Ridge Studio Gallery, Scarborough, ON (3 February to 19 February)

2008                Kim Ondaatje: Paintings 1950-1975, University of Toronto Art Centre, Toronto, ON (22 July to 15 August) (brochure)

2010                The Artist’s Eye, Kingston Frameworks, Kingston, ON (29 January to 21 March)

2011                The Creative Process, Blueroof Farm, Bellrock, ON (June to 31 October by appointment)

2013                Kim Ondaatje, Museum London, London, ON (19 July to 5 October)

2014                Kim Ondaatje, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON (1 February to 27 April), Organized by Museum London

2015                Kim Ondaatje, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON (29 November to 4 May), Organized by Museum London

 

Group Exhibitions

1964                Mountain House, Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, QC (16 February to 18 February)

Open Juried Show, Four Season Hotel, Toronto, ON (Jurors: Elizabeth Kilbourn, Alan Jarvis, Jack Pollock) (Spring)

The Kingston Spring Exhibition of Art, Sponsored by the Gallery Association of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON (Spring)

1966                Spring Exhibition of Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON (7 May to 29 May)

1966-68           Irene McKim Gallery, Kingston, ON

1968                Spring Exhibition ’68, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (Juror: James Gordaneer) (4 May to 2 June) and exhibition of Kingston painters, touring, developed by the Art Institute of Ontario (later the Art Gallery of Ontario as The Artist with Their Work program)

1969                Open Juried Show, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (Merit Award for Back Kitchen) (3 May to 1 June)

Swinging London, University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, ON toured to 20/20 Gallery, London, ON

97th Annual Exhibition, Ontario Society of Artists, Toronto, ON

Invitation Exhibition, Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto, ON

Canadian Artists, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, ON

Paintings by Kim Ondaatje / Sculpture by Bill Gregory (two person exhibition), London Public Library and Art Museum, London, ON (5 November to 2 December)

1970                Spring Juried Show, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC

Open Juried Show, Society of Canadian Artists, Toronto, ON (Purchase Award)

Spring Exhibition, Glenhyrst Arts Council, Brantford, ON

Spring Exhibition, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, ON (2 May to 31 May)

Sondages 70: Realismes = Survey 70: Realisms, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, QC (May to June); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON (August to September) (catalogue)

Open Juried Show, O.S.1.E., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON (Purchase Award)

30th Annual Western Ontario Exhibition, Open Juried Show, London Public Library and Art Museum, London, ON

1971                Ondaatje and Robinson: Paintings and Sculpture (two person exhibition), McIntosh Gallery, London, ON (6 January to 17 January)

Open Juried Show, Glenhyrst Arts Council, Brantford, ON (Merit Award) (March)

Seattle Print International (Northwest Printmakers, 42nd Annual Exhibition), Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (honourable mention, purchase award, for Bedroom) (19 March to 18 April) (catalogue, cover image)

9th International Biennale of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

International Exhibition of Graphics, Montreal, QC (Purchase Award) (publication)

New Talent, Marlborough-Goddard Gallery, Montreal, QC

Southwest 31, Open Juried Show, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Purchase Award)

1972                IV International Biennale of Graphic Art, Krakow, Poland (Grand Prize for Doors) (May)

Albion College Exhibition, Albion, Michigan, USA

Artario ’72, a traveling exhibition and sale of art multiples, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto, ON (catalogue)

Canadian Printmakers Showcase, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Exhibition of International Prints, Oxford Gallery, Oxford, UK (Juror: Patricia Gilmour) (Critics Choice for Doors)

Accessions, Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON (2 January to 2 February)

Graphics ’72 (with Walter Bachinski, Jaroslav Hovadick, Kim Ondaatje), the Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford, ON (7 April to 5 May)

1973                Canada Council Art Bank Exhibition, Paris, France

10th International Biennale, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (Invited Artist)

Exhibition and Sale of Works by Leading Canadian Artists from Coast to Coast, National Council to Jewish Women of Canada (organizers), Ottawa, ON (May)

1974                4th British International Print Biennale, Bradford City Art Gallery and Museum, Bradford, UK (People’s Choice Award for Back Kitchen) (7 July through October)

1975                Chairs, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

Through the Looking Glass, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

1st International Biennale of Graphic Art and Multiples, Segovia, Spain

Graphex 3, Toronto, ON (Aviva Award, 1st Prize, Graphics, for Doors)

First Decade, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI (summer)

1976                Graphex 4: 4th Annual Juried Exhibition of Canadian Prints and Drawings, Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford, ON (Editions Award for Bedroom)

1978                Another Tradition, Rosemont Art Gallery, Regina, SK (18 September to 15 October)

Realists from the Permanent Collection, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK (13 July to 13 August) (toured provincially through 1 July 1980)

1982                Ontario Art on View, Ontario House, Paris, France

Little Churches of Canada, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (5 December to 9 January)

1991                If the Walls Could Talk: Images from the Interior, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK (28 September to 10 November) (toured provincially through 1993) (brochure)

1995                The Hat My Father Wore…Women, Art Museums and the Visual Arts, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (12 November 1995 to 28 April 1996)

1997                Environmental Canada Project, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON (9 January to 11 May)

1998                The Four Seasons, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON (13 August to 13 December)

2002                Industrial Strength: Visual Responses to Efficiency, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON (10 January to 17 March)

2006                Art Reach (Cape Breton), organized by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, Port Hawkesbury, NS; Cape Breton University, Sydney, NS (3 May to 6 October)

2010                An Artist’s Eye, A mini-retrospective by Kim Ondaatje, Kingston Frameworks, Kingston, ON (29 January to 21 March)

inbetween, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI (23 January to 16 May)

The Three Sisters: Squash, Corn and an Old Bean (with Louise Day and Susan Tunicliff), photo exhibition at Blueroof Farm, Bellrock, ON (summer)

2011                inbetween, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Scarborough, ON (19 January to 20 February)

Collecting Stories: The Heritage Quilt, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (29 January to 17 July)

2012                Sightings II: constructed/generic/altered/industrial, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (satellite exhibition), Concordia University, Montreal, QC (24 May to 3 August)

2018                Awakening, exhibition curated by Bruce Mau, featuring works by Canadian and Indigenous artists selected from the Canada Council Art Bank collection; Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Toronto, ON (May 2018)

 

Selected Bibliography

Amaya, Mario, Sondages 70: Réalismes = Survey 70: Realisms. (Montreal and Toronto: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Art Gallery of Ontario, 1970)

Anon., The Artists with Their Work. (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983)

Anon., Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre: Catalogue 1984. (Toronto: Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, 1984)

Belshaw, Linda, Graphex 4: 4th Annual Juried Exhibition of Canadian Prints and Drawings. (Brantford: The Art Gallery of Brant, 1976)

Boudreault, Lori; Crossman, Lana; Hammadi Nadia; and O’Grady, Terry. “Kim Ondaatje + Tony

Urquhart,” Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. (Ottawa: Canada Council for the Arts, 2009).

Firth, Edith G., Toronto in Art: 150 Years Through Artists’ Eyes. (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1983)

Laws, Bill, Artist Gardens. (London: Ward Lock, 1999)

Long, Timothy, If the Walls Could Talk: Images from the Interior. (Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1991)

Lord, Barry. “What London, Ontario, Has That Everywhere Else Needs.” (Art In America, Vol. 57, September 1969)

Lefebvre, Germain, Eva Landori and Robert Elie, Salon International de la gravure: Montréal 1971 = International Exhibition of Graphics: Montréal 1971. (Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1971)

Long, Timothy, If the Walls Could Talk: Images from the interior. (Regina: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1991)

Rombout, Luke, Selection des oeuvres de la Banque d’oeuvres d’art du Conseil des Arts du Canada/Canada Art Bank. (Paris: Canadian Cultural Centre, 1973)

Tippett, Maria, By a Lady: Celebrating Three Centuries of Art by Canadian Women. (Toronto: Viking, 1992)

 

Publications

Kim Ondaatje and Michael Bell, Tradition Plus One: Patchwork Quilts from South Eastern Ontario. (Kingston, ON: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1974), unpaginated

Reid, Dennis; Carney, Lora Senechal; Getty, Cassandra; Townsend, Melanie. Kim Ondaatje. (London, Ontario: Museum London, 2013)

 

Art Films

Black Creek, 1972, 16 mm, colour, whereabouts unknown

Factories, 1973, 16 mm, colour, 6:30 min., Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Purchase, 1974

 

Documentary Films

Patchwork Quilts, 1974, 16 mm, colour, 11:00 min.

Old Houses, 1977, 16 mm, colour, 27 min.

Where Bittersweet Grows, 1978, 16 mm, colour, 25:40 min.

 

Design

Design for Jet Quilt, 1974

ink on paper

45.4 x 37.7 cm

Collection of the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queens University, Gift of Kim Ondaatje, 2011

 

Design for Summer Olympics Quilt, 1976

marker on paper

45.4 x 37.9 cm

Collection of the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queens University, Gift of Kim Ondaatje, 2011

 

Books

Kim Ondaatje and Lois MacKenzie, Old Ontario Houses (Agincourt, ON: Gage Publishing, 1977), 64 pages

Kim Ondaatje, Small Churches of Canada (Toronto, ON: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1982), 192 pages

Kim Ondaatje, Toronto, My City: A Photography Memoir (Kingston, ON: Quarry Press, 1993), 127 plates

 

Television Documentaries

2008                A Life in a Landscape, a television documentary episode part of the series Recreating Eden, Written and Directed by Gwynne Basen, 22:00

 

Collections

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, ON

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS

Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON

Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON

Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON

Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI

Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON

Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant, Brantford, ON

Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ON

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal, QC

MacDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, ON

MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK

McIntosh Gallery, Western University, London, ON

McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, ON

Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK

Milton S. Fox Collection, New York City, United States

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC

Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Museum London, London, ON

National Museum of Poland, Krakow, Poland

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON

Owens Art Gallery, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, United States

Simon Fraser University Gallery, Vancouver, BC

The Market Gallery, City of Toronto Art Collection, Toronto, ON

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, ON

University of Toronto Art Collection, Toronto, ON

 

Previously Represented by:

Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre, Toronto, ON

Marlborough-Godard Gallery, Montreal, QC

Nancy Poole’ Studio, London and Toronto, ON

Wells Gallery, Ottawa, ON