Located in LY 107 (Dr. Archer Library 1st floor)
Chamber Pink, 1970
Acrylic on canvas
75″ x 92″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.2009.4
Yellow Peak, 1972
Acrylic on canvas
79″ x 92″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.2009.5
Kenneth Lochhead was appointed the position of Director of the School of Art, Regina College (now the University of Regina) in 1950 and stayed there until 1964. He worked with his colleages to initiate the Emma Lake workshops, bringing international influence to Saskatchewan and helping to create an essential discourse of modernist aesthetics to the work that was being created in the province. Lochhead was a member of the Regina Five. With his colleague, Art McKay, he was included in the exhibition, Post Painterly Abstraction (1964) curated by renowned critic Clement Greenberg, after Greenburg had visited Emma Lake. This exhibition reinforced the notion that Saskatchewan had reached the same level of modern art practices being created on a global scale, and signaled that Lochhead and his cohorts had succeeded in breaking the seclusion of the province.
Chamber Pink and Yellow Peak are paintings in the colour field tradition. Their aim is to immerse the viewer in colour and reject illusionism, perspective and a sense of space. The surface of the painting was intended to be flat to reinforce the painting’s objecthood. Within these paintings, the breadth of colour coupled with the scale of the work is intended to illicit an otherworldly experience. The paintings are intended to instill feelings of awe and wonder, express a sense of timelessness, and draw the viewer into an existential experience. Despite their abstraction, the wisps of colour in Chamber Pink could be understood as indications of figures, given Lochhead’s earlier works. With no strong connection to line or mass they are dissolved auroras of figures occupying a wondrous, otherwordly realm. Their size allows the viewer to be completely immersed in colour should they stand directly in front of them.