The University of Tulsa’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to announce the opening of an exhibit featuring the works of Anna Kavan. The exhibit will be shown in the Sherman Smith Family Gallery at the Zarrow Art Center located at 124 East Brady Street. The show opens tomorrow Friday November 1st during the First Friday Art Crawl in the Brady Arts District from 6-9.
Anna Kavan was a famous British writer who published novels and short stories. She was born Helen Emily Woods, and later married and added the surname Ferguson. She published her first six works under her Ferguson name. After being institutionalized for a heroin related break down she changed her name to Anna Kavan, after one of the characters in her novel Let Me Alone.
“The first six of her novels gave little indication of the experimental and disturbing nature of her later work. Asylum Piece, a collection of short stories which explored the inner mindscape of the psychological explorer, heralded the new style and content of Kavan’s writing.”
Drawn from our collections, the exhibition focuses on thirty-six paintings created by Kavan. The works are divided into three thematic genres- self-portrait, artistic influences, and dreams. Together they provide insight into this enigmatic British writer’s life.
Based upon her formal training at the Central London School of Arts and Crafts in “design theory,” Kavan’s technique places each current painting in the context of earlier pieces. It mirrored her creative approach to first experience a relationship, emotion, or life situation then make a work of art that marked that experience. She considered these memorials a justification for having lived.
Please join us tomorrow evening to experience these pieces and connect to an author and artist lost to time.