Located next to Common Ground Coffee House (Dr. William Riddell Centre, 1st floor)
Untitled (Green and Brown), c. 1974
Oil enamel on hardboard
48” x 72”
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.1974.6
Arthur (Art) McKay was a professor for thirty-five years at the School of Art, Regina Campus (now the University of Regina). He also helped initiate the Emma Lake artist workshops, where prestigious artists came to a retreat in Saskatchewan to build, bond, and share in artistic practice. He was a member of the renowned Regina Five, the group responsible for bringing modern, abstract expressionism to a then-isolated prairie city and province. Art McKay and his colleague Kenneth Lochhead attained international recognition for their inclusion in Clement Greenberg’s Post Painterly Abstraction exhibition in Los Angeles in 1964.
McKay’s abstract paintings are evocative of organic and meditative states of being. Untitled (Green and Brown) is reminiscent of tree bark and a close connection with the outdoors and nature. A common image within McKay’s works are mandalas, icons which take form in circular, square, or rectangular shapes. They represent a connectedness with the universe, which extends both within and beyond the human mind and body. These images are meant to not only be visually appealing, but elicit the viewer to feel a connection with the entities around them. This type of shape is connected to many different cultures all over the world. Some of McKay’s imagery is closely related to aspects of the human psyche, so the viewer must address the emptiness or void as well as the repeated patterning as inexpressible emotions.