From the Archive: Kenneth Lochhead's 1960s Abstractions


Artwork details: 'Warm Movement,' 1964, oil on canvas. ACQUIRE.

The work of Kenneth Lochhead (1926-2006) represents in many ways the complex and varied strata that make up Canadian art history in the 20th century. From stylized surrealism, to geometric abstraction, to abstracted landscape, Lochhead's paintings are era-defining in their commitment to both aesthetic philosophies and experimentation with media.

The conceptual underpinnings of Lochhead's mid-century abstractions are detailed by curator Ted Fraser in the catalogue for "Kenneth Lochhead: Garden of Light," a text produced by the Mackenzie Art Gallery in 2005:

"Lochhead's abstractions revel in the romanticism of the lost garden of modernism, enjoying an organic, almost forbidden asymmetry...Unlike many contemporaries, Lochhead never painted confusing mazes as symbols of alienation, fear and anxiety. To him, colour abstraction was a path toward understanding and truth...Through colour, these are expansive pictures, not confined spaces." 

Bau-Xi Gallery is proud to represent the Lochhead estate, and regularly displays rare and exciting works spanning the artist's career from the 1960s-1990s. 

Above: Kenneth Lochhead in his Gatineau studio.



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