Kenneth Lochhead (1926 - 2006)
Kenneth Lochhead was a Canadian painter, member of the Regina Five and considered by some to have brought modernism to Canada. A prolific artist, Kenneth Lochhead is best known for his colour field paintings in the tradition of Post-Painterly Abstraction, and for his later landscapes infused with romantic surrealism. Of his work, Kenneth Lochhead stated, “I have learned that plastic form, with its elements of colour, light, line and space, is the essence of coherent visual expression.”
Considered at the forefront of Canada’s modern art movement along with fellow “Regina Five” painters Art McKay, Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, and Doug Morton, Lochhead participated in the now famous exhibition, "Five Painters from Regina" in 1961 at the National Gallery of Canada.
In addition to his membership in the Regina Five, Lochhead spearheaded the creation of the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery during his tenure at the University of Saskatchewan School of Art beginning in 1950 and created the Emma Lake Professional Artists’ Workshops in 1955. Led by such New York artists as Herman Cherry, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski, the summer series propelled Saskatchewan onto the international art scene.
Lochhead’s work has been widely exhibited in Canada and abroad. During his career, the artist received major commissions, including a mural for the Gander International Airport and the design for Manitoba’s Centennial Stamp. In 2005 the MacKenzie Art Gallery marked Saskatchewan’s Centennial celebrations with a sixty-year retrospective of Lochhead’s career. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1971 and became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1996. He was bestowed the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2006. His work has been collected by major institutions across Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.