William Perehudoff

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William Perehudoff
Born William Perehudoff
(1918-04-21)April 21, 1918
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Died (2013-02-26)February 26, 2013 (aged 94)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Nationality Canadian
Education Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Amédée Ozenfant, Emma Lake Artist's Workshops
Known for Painting, muralist
Movement Colour Field
Awards Order of Canada, Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Patron(s) Fred Mendel

William Perehudoff CM SOM (April 21, 1918 – February 26, 2013) was a Canadian artist most closely associated with colour field painting. He was married to the landscape painter Dorothy Knowles.

Life and career[edit]

Perehudoff was born in St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on April 21, 1918, and was raised on a farm in the Doukhobor community of Bogdanovka[1] (Google Map), between the towns of Langham and Borden, Saskatchewan.[2] His formal education ended at grade eleven,[2] but he pursued art studies with French artist Jean Chariot at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado (1948–49), with Amedee Ozenfant at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts, New York, New York (1949–50) and through the Emma Lake Artist's Workshops (various years, 1957 to 1990), where he became acquainted with teachers Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski.[3][4] It was at one of these workshops in 1962 that he met New York art critic Clement Greenberg,[2] who introduced him to Post-painterly Abstraction, which had an enormous impact upon his art and career.

Perehudoff's work has been represented in numerous public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Art.[4]

In 1994, he was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit,[5] and in 1999, he was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada.[2][6] Due to failing eyesight, Perehudoff gave up painting around 2003-2004.[7]

He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[8]

In November 2009, several of Perehudoff's murals were successfully removed from the executive suite in the former Intercontinental Packers plant. Perehudoff painted them in 1950, and the abstract silhouettes are considered the last remaining examples of purist cubist art from that period. Appraised at $250,000, the murals had been at risk as the plant was slated for demolition.[9] Ian Hodkinson, a retired art conservator, was brought in and used a special method to remove the acrylic paint from the plaster intact.[10] The murals remained in storage[11] until the Remai Modern was completed in 2017. They are now displayed in a special antechamber, built to the same dimensions as the boardroom in which they first existed.[12]

Perehudoff died on February 26, 2013 at age 94.[13]


  1. ^ Kalmakoff, Jonathan. "Bogdanovka". The Doukhobor Gazeteer. Doukhobor Genealogy Website. Retrieved 21 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c d "William Perehudoff: Chronology". Mendel Art Gallery. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ Perehudoff, Carol (April 22, 2010). "William Perehudoff - ie my dad the art star". Wandering Carol. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Artists - William Perehudoff". Art Placement. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Saskatchewan Order of Merit Recipients". Government of Saskatchewan. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Order of Canada: William W. Perehudoff, C.M." The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ McKay, Stephanie (February 27, 2013). "'He was competing against history' - Perehudoff spoke volumes with his talent". The StarPhoenix. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Famed Saskatoon artist William Perehudoff dies". The StarPhoenix. February 27, 2013. Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Sharp, Jenn (November 20, 2009). "Perehudoff murals rescued, preserved". The StarPhoenix. 
  11. ^ Denny, Dave (June 3, 2010). "Its Official! The Murals to Go in Art Gallery of Saskatachewan". Mendel's Murals. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  12. ^ Jen, Leslie (2018-01-22). "Prairie Transformation". Canadian Architect. Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Retrieved 2018-03-06. 
  13. ^ "Saskatchewan modern artist William Perehudoff dies at 94". CBC News. February 27, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]