Our February exhibition celebrates colour through the paintings of Jonathan Forrest, William Perehudoff and Hans Wendt.
It can be argued that colour is one of the most important elements in a work of art. There are so many different aspects to colour (the hue, intensity, value, shape), the way that it can be applied to the canvas (rolled, painted, splashed, stained, swiped, dripped, pulled) and the theory behind how different colours relate to each other. Colour is emotional. Colour is expressive. Colour can be simple or complex. Through the paintings of Jonathan Forrest, William Perehudoff and Hans Wendt we explore these many variations of colour.
Jonathan Forrest, a survivor of the Modernist school, applies thin layers of transparent colours to his canvas. When the colours combine, they create radiant, light-filled paintings. Colours recede and approach, fold, weave and shift depending on their precise placement and optical combinations.
William Perehudoff, a mentor to Jonathan Forrest, is closely associated with the colour-field movement of painting. As Karen Wilken states in the exhibition catalogue “An Optimism of Colour”: William Perehudoff created “bold, economical abstraction that explores the expressive power of large expanses of radiant colour and simplified shapes”. Perehudoff understood balance, scale, form and composition. As he is known to have stated, he prefers paintings “with a kind of pulse”.
Hans Wendt, a PEI artist known for his large-scale virtuoso watercolour paintings, makes paintings about painting. His carefully composed watercolours are of cut paint samples given to art students as examples of what colours should look like when mixed. Wendt honours the history of large minimalist painters, but makes it a new and joyful meditation on paint and the importance of colour and composition. Added to the challenge of painting such sophisticated works is the difficult and sometimes unforgiving medium of watercolour.
Jonathan Forrest is an abstract painter who divides his studio time between Vancouver Island and small town Saskatchewan, Canada. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1977.
Forrest studied at the University of Saskatchewan receiving his BFA in 1983 and his MFA in 1991. Jonathan has participated in several artists’ workshops including The Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop (1985, 1988, 1991, 2001, 2003 and 2005), The “Saskatchewan Invitational artists’ workshop”, Emma Lake (2000), and Triangle Artists’ Workshop, Brooklyn, NY (2002).
His work has been shown in Western Canada in museums including the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, The Edmonton Art Gallery and The Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina.
Public collections include the Canada Council / Art Bank, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Edmonton Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw Art Museum, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan Arts Board, University of Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan.
William Perehudoff was born near Saskatoon in 1919 and by the mid 1960’s he was considered to be one of Canada’s major abstract painters. Perehudoff studied with the French artist Jean Chariot at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1948-49 and with the French Purist Amedee Ozenfant at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts, New York, New York, in 1949-50.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he was an active participant in the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops and participated in workshops led by Will Barnet (1957), Herman Cherry (1961), Clement Greenberg (1962), Kenneth Noland (1983), and Donald Judd (1968). In 1988 he was a workshop leader at Emma Lake.
His work has been widely exhibited in Canada with museum show at the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, The Edmonton Art Gallery and the Glenbow Art Gallery, Calgary as well as shows in commercial art galleries across the country. His work is in private and public collections in Canada, the US and Europe.
In 2011, The Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon was host to The Optimism of Colour: William Perehudoff, a Retrospective, featuring over sixty works drawn from public and private Canadian collections. William Perehudoff passed away in Saskatoon in 2013.
Hans Wendt was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1973 and raised in Prince Edward Island. He currently lives and works in Millvale, PEI. He has been active as an artist in various mediums for most of his adult life, but began painting seriously following studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design in the 1990s. Since 1999 he has turned his focus to the creation of conceptually driven watercolour paintings.
Recent exhibitions include Recent Work at The Apartment in Vancouver, BC; Oh, Canada, MASS MoCA, Massachusetts, Esker Foundation, Calgary and Gallerie d’Art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen, Moncton NB; Hans Wendt/Studio Painting, Confederation Centre Art Gallery; In/Flux: Migrating Culture and Cultural Modernism in PEI, Confederation Centre Art Gallery. In 2013 he was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award.