WILLIAM PEREHUDOFF, R.C.A. (1918-2013)
Private Collection, London, U.K.
William Perehudoff was one of Canada’s most distinguished color field painters who combined his experiences in the prairies of Saskatoon with abstract forms. He was heavily influenced by American post-war artists Will Barnet and Kenneth Noland, and critic Clement Greenberg, who he met at the Emma Lake Workshops in the 1940s and 50s. The Emma Lake Workshops were a professional training initiative at the University of Saskatchewan led by over eighty artists and critics from around North America. In 1988 he became a leader of the workshop himself.
Each decade of painting produced a unique body of artwork examining color, texture, and form. Perehudoff’s mature working method was distinctive: he would paint on unstretched canvas on the floor while listening to classical music. Karen Wilkin, curator of Perehudoff’s retrospective, explained that the aim of his abstractions “...[was] plainly not to replicate appearances but rather to stir our emotions through wordless relationships of color, eloquent intervals, thoughtfully deployed shapes, and nuanced surfaces.”