Kenneth Lochhead (1926-2006) was a prominent Canadian artist known for his abstract and expressionist paintings. Born in Ottawa, he studied at the Ontario College of Art and later at the Académie Julian in Paris. Lochhead was heavily influenced by the Automatistes and the Abstract Expressionists, whose styles are evident in his work.

One of Lochhead’s most notable contributions to Canadian art is his role in the development of the Regina Five. Along with artists Ronald Bloore, Ted Godwin, Douglas Morton, and Arthur McKay, Lochhead was instrumental in bringing abstract painting to the forefront of Canadian art in the 1960s. The group’s first exhibition, held in 1961, was met with great controversy, but also with critical acclaim.

Lochhead’s work often explores the relationship between colour and form, using bold brushstrokes and bright, contrasting colours. His abstract compositions are often open to interpretation, inviting viewers to experience the work on a more personal level. In addition to his paintings, Lochhead also worked in several other mediums, including printmaking and sculpture.

Despite being associated with the Regina Five, Lochhead’s work remains unique and distinct. His paintings are characterized by their strong sense of movement, rhythm, and balance. Lochhead’s use of colour is especially noteworthy, as he was able to create dynamic and harmonious compositions using a relatively limited palette.

Lochhead’s contributions to Canadian art have not gone unrecognized. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2003 and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and retrospectives. In 2016, the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan held a major exhibition of Lochhead’s work, entitled “Colour Fields.”

Overall, Kenneth Lochhead was a significant figure in Canadian art history, known for his contributions to the development of abstract painting in Canada and his unique and expressive style. His legacy continues to influence artists today and his work remains an important part of Canadian art history.