William Perehudoff (1918-2013)
With an acclaimed career that spanned over seven decades, William Perehudoff is one of the most celebrated Canadian Colour Field painters of his generation.
Over the span of his career, Perehudoff achieved distinction through his exhibitions and awards. He exhibited at Waddington-Tooth in London, UK, Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, Meredith Long Contemporary Gallery, New York, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon and Glenbow Museum, Calgary. He participated in group exhibitions including National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal and Hirschhorn Museum + Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. In 1994, Perehudoff was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, followed by the Order of Canada in 1998. In 2003 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina and in 2012 he was bestowed the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As a result of an acclaimed career that spanned over seven decades, William Perehudoff is markedly one of the most celebrated Canadian Colour Field painters of his generation.
William Perehudoff was born in Saskatchewan in 1918, and began his career in the early 1940s. From 1948-1949, he studied with French artist Jean Chariot at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, and from 1949-1950, with Amédée Ozenfant at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in New York. Not surprisingly, with his connections to American Color Field and European abstract movements, Perehudoff’s paintings shifted and his focus turned to formalist abstraction.
Another key point in Perehudoff’s career was in 1962, when he met Clement Greenberg. Greenberg was an influential New York art critic, who was highly regarded for his promotion of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Perehudoff’s active participation in the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops would also be considered to have been highly influential on his practice; by 1988, he became a workshop leader.
William Perehudoff achieved great distinction through his exhibitions and awards. In 1994, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, followed by the prestigious Order of Canada in 1998. In 2003 he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina, and in 2012 he was bestowed the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
As a result of his success, a traveling retrospective was organized in 2010 by the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (now Remai Modern), curated by esteemed New York art critic Karen Wilkin. “The Optimism of Colour: William Perehudoff, a retrospective” opened at Mendel Art Gallery in October 2010. It traveled to Kamloops Art Gallery, BC and Glenbow Museum, Calgary in 2011 and in 2012 it was on view at Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario and Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario.