Located in LY 106, elevator lobby (Dr. Archer Library 1st floor)
Untitled (Small Town Scene, Craven), c. 1952
Watercolour on paper
23 1/2″ x 11 1/2”
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.1953.1
In 1950, aged just twenty-four, Kenneth Lochhead became Director of the School of Art, Regina College. The College would later become part of the University of Regina. The relationship between Lochhead and the painters Arthur McKay, Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin and Douglas Morton came to form the Regina Five, a major contributor to the city’s fertile art community during the fifties and sixties and one of Canada’s most dynamic artistic groups.
Prior to this appointment, Lochhead had taken a cross-country trip that included the prairies, recording striking scenes of limitless landscapes, uninterrupted horizons, iconic grain elevators and vernacular Saskatchewan architecture. Curator Ted Fraser observed, “[the] vast horizon and architecture of the prairie towns reminded him of Renaissance murals by Piero della Francesca in Italy — a projection of an ancient civilization onto a recently settled continent.“ The brightly-coloured figures surrounding the church in Untitled (Small Town Scene, Craven), speak to Lochhead’s celebration of prairie communities; a common motif in work of this period. All these themes were of continued interest to a man recently arrived from Ottawa.
Lochhead’s attendance at the Emma Lake artist’s workshops from 1955 would introduce him to leading modernist figures such as Clement Greenberg, Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman and Jules Olitski. Their influence and his kinship with the Regina Five generated the abstracted canvases that were to come, establishing Lochhead’s place as a leading figure of the Canadian avant garde.