Located on Regina Five wall, above Golden Prairie Confections (Dr. William Riddell Centre, viewable from 1st and 2nd floors)
Emma Lake Abstract, 1960
Oil enamel painting
48″ x 96″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; pc.2003.6
Douglas Morton taught at the University of Regina from 1967 until 1969, where he was the director of the Visual Arts Department. Morton was a member of the Regina Five, the group responsible for bringing the critical development of contemporary art to the province and to Western Canada. He was also an avid participant of the Emma Lake workshops that took place in Saskatchewan. The celebrated Modernist artists that led the workshops reinforced his interest in abstraction, which in turn led him down his path as an Abstract Expressionist painter, a defining aspect of his career.
This painting was completed during the 1960 workshop at Emma Lake, the guest artist and leader for that year was the American abstractionist, John Ferren. Emma Lake Abstraction has had an impressive exhibition history. It was included in the seminal 1961 National Gallery of Canada exhibition, Five Painters from Regina, which toured the country. It was also exhibited another seven times, including the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and in Regina at the MacKenzie Art Gallery.
Emma Lake Abstraction is a good example of Morton’s oeuvre. Various sized non-representational shapes layered over one another, high energy feeling, and bright, sophisticated use of colour. Colleague and fellow Regina Five member Ronald Bloore fondly noted that, “it is always a liberating experience to be refreshed by the dynamic Morton colours.”
 Ronald Bloore, “Doug Morton”, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1995.