Artwork by William Perehudoff,  AC-88-8

William Perehudoff

acrylic on canvas
signed, titled and dated 1988 on the reverse
44 x 46.25 ins ( 111.8 x 117.5 cms )

Auction Estimate: $20,000.00$15,000.00 - $20,000.00

Price Realized $15,340.00
Sale date: November 19th 2019

Private Collection, Calgary
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Toronto/Vancouver, 2007, pages 287 and 291
Dennis Reid, A Concise History of Canadian Painting, Toronto, 2012, page 349
William Perehudoff studied at the Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center in Nevada in 1948-49 and at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in New York in 1950, where he was “impressed by Ozenfant’s Purist- based and idealist insistence on ‘significant form’.” This was his foray into abstraction that he become known for and continually revisited throughout his life. In Saskatoon, abstract art took root in the Emma Lake workshops in the 1960s, with William Perehudoff among its foremost leaders. Clement Greenberg and Kenneth Noland came
to the Emma Lake workshops and became strong supporters of Perehudoff; their respect for his work encouraged his development of large-scale, abstract works rooted in the theory and aesthetics of Color-Field painting. Greenberg “affirmed his belief in the Purist strains of modernism and his belief in the primacy of colour and form as vehicles of aesthetic feeling in painting....” Perehudoff and his wife and fellow painter, Dorothy Knowles, owned a cottage at Emma Lake that allowed them to meet and collaborate with many visiting artists, fueling an international perspective on their artistic practices. “Perehudoff emerged as a painter of more than local ambition in the mid-sixties with big paintings—simple configurations of large rectangles and circles of colour stained into untreated canvas.”

Perehudoff’s background as a watercolourist can be seen in the soft hues of pink and grey throughout “AC-88-8”. The multicoloured bands forming a central triangular form are backlit by a glowing pearlescent white, drawing in the viewer and energizing the space between each stroke of colour. The canvas was completed in 1988, the year that Perehudoff was honoured to serve as a workshop leader at Emma Lake.

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William Perehudoff
(1919 - 2013) RCA

William Perehudoff was born in Langham, Saskatchewan and maintained a connection to this area throughout his life. In 1944, the Saskatoon Art Centre opened, and this provided Perehudoff with early and important access to art. Within a couple of years he was exhibiting regularly in group exhibitions such as the Saskatoon Exhibition and the Art Centre fall show. Throughout this phase of his development as an artist, he farmed in the summer and devoted himself to painting and his art education in the winter. Like many artists of the time, Perehudoff had been influenced by the motivations and methodologies of social realist artists such as Diego Rivera.  Perehudoff took instruction from the influential French muralist Jean Charlot, as well as Amédé Ozenfant in New York, the French Purist and associate of Le Corbusier.  Kenneth Noland, a very important colour field painter, was also a major influence to his work. Since the 1960s, Perehudoff was a central figure in Canadian abstraction. The effect of the flat plains and open skies that are so dramatically present throughout Saskatchewan seem to be detectable in his work. William Perehudoff received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1994 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Regina in 2003. He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1998.