Kenneth Campbell Lochhead OC, LLD, RCA (1926 – 2006)
Kenneth Campbell Lochhead was a painter, educator and muralist who was born in Ottawa. He taught in Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto before returning to Ottawa in 1975 where he lived, taught and painted for the rest of his life. His mediums were oil, acrylic, enamel, egg tempera and watercolour. His subjects were landscapes, figures and pure abstract. His styles were expressionist, surrealist, colour-field and post-painterly abstraction. Among those who influenced his work were Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski and the critic Clement Greenberg. All of whom were teachers and associates.
He studied art at Queen’s University, Ottawa (1944), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1945 – 1948) and also at the Barnes foundation (1946 –1948) in Philadelphia. He was director of the School of Art at the University of Regina (1950 - 1964); Associate Professor in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba (1964 –1973); Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts at York University Toronto (1973 –1975); and Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa (1975 –1989).He has also travelled extensively in Europe.
He is probably best known for his Emma Lake Professional Artists' Workshops which he gave a modernist direction to beginning in 1955, by inviting artists from the New York School such as Kenneth Noland, Barnett Newman and Jules Olitski, as well as the art critic Clement Greenberg to speak and teach. He was also a member of the "Regina Five" painters group with Arthur Mckay, Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin and Douglas Morton who exhibited at the National Gallery in 1961, and who were considered by many to be at the forefront of Canada's modern art movement.
He has been exhibiting his work continuously since 1950 in over 300 major group and solo shows. The venues include numerous shows (starting in 1953) at The National Gallery of Canada, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery (Regina), The Art Gallery of Windsor and The Mendel Art Gallery and many more. In addition he was included in the Clement Greenberg’s 1964 Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Art Gallery of Ontario.
His paintings are in many private, corporate and public collections. The public collections include most of the major museums in Canada, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Mackenzie Art Gallery (Regina), and The Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon). His murals can be seen at Gander Airport, Newfoundland; in the Canadian Chancery Building in Warsaw, Poland; the Confederation Centre in Prince Edward Island; and the Centennial Concert Hall in Winnipeg.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Order of Canada in 1971 and in 2006 a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from The University of Regina in 2001 and the Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1996.
As one of Canada’s most important artists his work is discussed in many books on Canadian Art as well as in numerous newspaper, magazine articles, and TV shows. Some book examples are: Modern Painting in Canada - Major Movements in Twentieth Century Canadian Art (1978) by Terry Fenton and Karen Wilken, published by Hurtig Publishers (119 pgs, color); Four Decades (1972) by Paul Duval, published by Clark Irwin & Co. Ltd. (191 pgs, color); Art Gallery of Ontario – the Canadian Collection, published by McGraw-Hill Co. of Canada Ltd. (603 pgs,B&W);The History of Painting in Canada - Toward A peoples Art (1974) by Barry Lord, published by NC Press Toronto (253 pgs, color and B&W); The Development of Canadian Art (1964), published by The National Gallery of Canada (137 pgs; color and B&W) and Visions – Contemporary Art in Canada (1983),various authors and editors, published by Douglas & McIntyre (239 pgs, colour). He is also listed in History of Modern Art second edition (1978), by H.H.Arnason, published by Prentice – Hall, and Harry N. Abrams (740 pgs); A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. Mac Donald, published by Canadian Paperbacks Ltd. (8 volumes); and in The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar, published by Westbridge Publications Ltd. (4 Volumes). He is author of the book Garden of Light (2005), published by the Mackenzie Art Gallery in conjunction with a retrospective exhibition of his work that year (95 pgs).
Prepared and Contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke