Artwork by William Perehudoff,  AC-78-28

William Perehudoff

acrylic on canvas
signed, titled and dated 1978 on the reverse
31.25 x 94 ins ( 79.4 x 238.8 cms )

Auction Estimate: $45,000.00$35,000.00 - $45,000.00

Price Realized $48,000.00
Sale date: November 22nd 2021

Waddington Galleries, Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario
Roald Nasgaard, “Abstract Painting in Canada”, Toronto, 2007, page 290
Nancy E. Dillow, “William Perehudoff: Recent Paintings’, Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, 1978, page 7
During the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops held in 1962-63, William Perehudoff was introduced to Post-Painterly Abstraction by art critic Clement Greenberg and American artist Kenneth Noland. Perehudoff had a great interest in colour experimentation and sought to define his own unique style. In “Abstract Painting in Canada’, Roald Nasgaard refers to the paintings of Perehudoff as, “plays of light and dark, of transparency and opacity [as] subtle and sensuous.” Many of the artist’s wide horizontal canvases of the mid-to-late 1970s were constructed of coloured ground transversed by vibrant parallel bars of colour. “AC-78-28” contains what Nancy Dillow described as “the horizontal stretch of colour...[that] vibrates like a violin string, activating the entire canvas.”

Perehudoff has said he prefers paintings ‘with a kind of pulse,’ referring to an active interplay among the elements of the picture. He elicits this pulse through variations of colour and intensity, as well as through repetitions of horizontal or vertical forms, as seen in the thin parallel bands of “AC-78-28” that give the appearance of vibration. The interplay of contrasting colours enhance the rhythm of the stripes, suggesting musical chords. While Perehudoff’s monumental canvas and his many other abstractions are constructed with strong attention to formal concerns, the viewer is often tempted to seek a literal horizon or interpret the horizontal bands as allusions to the big divisions of the natural world – earth, sky, and water. Furthermore, as Perehudoff was a native of the Canadian Prairies, his artistic vision embraced a specific response to place, showing inspiration related to the vast, open landscapes of the terrain.

In 1978, when this canvas was completed, Perehudoff was at the height of his career. He participated in multiple solo exhibitions that year, namely at the Glenbow Alberta Institute in Calgary, Meredith Long Contemporary Gallery in New York, as well as both the University of Alberta Art Gallery and Banff Art Centre Gallery in Edmonton.

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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.