Located in the elevator lobby, Dr. Archer Library 5th floor
Green Stripe, 1962
Acrylic on hardboard
48″ x 57″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.2000.1
The Regina Five’s producer of the group’s most vibrant canvases, Douglas Morton, was a pioneer of Canadian abstract art. He was driven to expand the limits of painting by including elements of collage; panels of wood or styofoam, and using unconventional materials, such as industrial paints.
Morton’s earlier work was typified by more gestural brushstrokes, however, his definitive paintings thrust clean shapes and colour to the foreground. Producing these monumental works from the early sixties, shape and colour became the two main characters in his distinct visual vocabulary. Kenneth Lochhead described these hard-edge abstractions as “full bodied shapes of colour”. His ability to envision and transform colour on his canvases was admired by another fellow Regina Five member, Ronald Bloore. Of a “vulgar” yellow ochre sample Morton had shown him, Bloore noted that it had been transformed into a “glorious radiant golden hue” in the final painting. “What I had seen in isolation,” he said, “[Morton] had envisioned in the complex context of adjoining colours and carefully controlled forms of unique hues. For me it was always a liberating experience after working on white panels all afternoon under harsh fluorescent lights to be refreshed by the dynamic Morton colours.”
In addition to his standing as a visual artist, Morton was a skilled arts administrator who became Director of Visual Arts and Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina campus, in 1967. He received an honorary degree from the University of Regina in 2001. Green Stripe previously hung in the Dr. John Archer Library during the 1980’s.