Ken Wallace July 7, 1945 - June 5, 2023 | In Memoriam

Vancouver painter Ken Wallace joined Bau-Xi gallery in 1976 and remained an important and integral part of the gallery for almost 48 years. He first became known for his abstract paintings and was the inaugural solo exhibition at Bau-Xi’s then-newly-opened Toronto location in February, 1976. He was also known for his innovative animation work. Moving into landscape painting, Ken became critically recognized throughout North America for his lush, sensitively rendered and quietly elegant landscapes. With saturated colour and a refined technique, Ken conveyed nuances of nature through reflections, colour and light. In his most recent exhibitions, Ken narrowed his focus on the beauty of the West Coast’s gardens and marshlands, creating intimate images of ponds, reeds, lily pads and grasses.

            Ken Wallace, Wetlands 36 (left) and Wetlands 7, both oil on canvas.

Ken attended the Alberta College of Art and the Banff School of Fine Arts, and in 1973 graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) with honours in animation and painting. He went on to teach at his alma mater for almost 30 years in addition to his long career as an artist. In 2010 he was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Painting, and in 2018 he was bestowed Professor Emeritus at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Ken's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in major public and private galleries in North America. He received four Canada Council Awards for painting and film and was internationally acclaimed for his animation. Ken’s art is represented in numerous prestigious private and public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada Council Art Bank, CBC, National Gallery of Canada, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The impacts of Ken Wallace’s artistic contributions and kind heart were equally profound. He will be greatly missed.


Left: 1989 Cover of Liason Energie-Francophonie Magazine featuring Ken Wallace Impetus, acrylic on canvas
Right: 1976 "Tales from Nursery" article by The Province art critic Art Perry featuring Ken Wallace and his short film Visitation

“Human experience is inseparable from nature. Landscape painting should be looked at through the duality of both physical existence and the meaning of nature in the subconscious. [My] landscapes are not necessarily of specific situations; they are representations of the idea of nature for contemplation. Everything in nature is a metaphor. Nature is not separate from our experience. Nature is not a trend; it is an existence.” – Ken Wallace, 1945-2023

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