In this radiant painting, AC-81-75 by William Perehudoff, thick vertical bands of green, blue, and fushcia punctuate a subtle smokey rose background. Recognised as a preëminent Canadian colour field painter, Perehudoff’s early works of the 1950s and 60s were born from his formal training in American abstract painting led by Clement Greenberg and with his peers, Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, and Jules Olitski. This painting from 1981 reflects Perehudoff’s mature expression and in this glorious canvas, he coalesces the aesthetics of flatness (seen in the stained background) and the texture of gestural painting (seen in the thickly applied colour bands). Hence, the painting sings with the interplay between flat and raised space and between the absorbed pigment of the background and the thick gloss of the foreground. However, it is the palette that creates the drama and optimism of the painting – joyful hues balance in harmony and culminate with the drip of a thick and glossy black line.
|Provenance||Private Collection, Vancouver.|
William Perehudoff was a prominent Canadian colour field painter and well known for his participation in the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops at the University of Saskatchewan. Started in 1955, the Workshops were annual painting intensives led by various international avant-garde painters and critics, including Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman, Clement Greenberg, and later, Donald Judd and Frank Stella. Perehudoff was an annual participant and he exchanged ideas with visiting American artists, especially Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski. In addition to theWorkshops, Perehudoff studied art in Colorado Springs (with muralist Jean Charlot), at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in New York City, and in London, England. His work was informed by the study of Greek history and philosophy, art history and criticism, the Russian classics, and his Doukhobor heritage.
Perehudoff was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and was awarded the Order of Canada, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contributions to the development of art in Canada. His work is displayed in major museums across the country, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the National Gallery of Canada, the Remai Modern (formerly the Mendel Art Gallery), the Glenbow Museum, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. A major retrospective of his work called The Optimism of Colour was exhibited across Canada from 2011 to 2012.