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Collection of the MacKenzie Art Gallery, purchased with funds donated by the Barootes family in honour of Betty Barootes
Wilf Perreault "Guiding Light", 2002
Wilf Perreault "Guiding Light", 2002 acrylic on canvas 182.8 x 305.3 cm
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MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina Collection
Wilf Perreault "Shady Lane", 1988
Wilf Perreault "Shady Lane", 1988 acrylic on canvas 213 x 335.2 cm
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Collection of the artist
Wilf Perreault "Chip Bag", 1979
Wilf Perreault "Chip Bag", 1979 acrylic on canvas 121.9 x 91.4 cm
Opening Reception: Friday September 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm
Curator & Artist Conversation: Saturday September 27, 2014 at 2 pm
Regina painter Wilf Perreault is best known for a single subject — the everyday back alley. Through over forty paintings and watercolours, Wilf Perreault: In the Alley traces the development of this unlikely urban icon. Since painting his first alley in 1974, the peaks of garage roofs have been Perreault’s Mont Ste-Victoire, the pools of melting snow, his pond at Giverny. Like Monet and his haystacks, Perreault has recorded the light of this urban landscape at every time of day and in every season. Begun at a moment when urban planning was abandoning the grid of street and back lane in favour of an “organic” system of bays and crescents, his alleys strike a deep chord. Lanes and alleys are embedded in memories of childhood and in the small rituals of neighbourhood life. Cutting across class lines, the beauty he finds is democratic and available to all.
A senior prairie landscape artist in a generation that includes David Thauberger, David Alexander, and Greg Hardy, Perreault has developed an approach which is rooted in local landscape traditions while making a distinctive aesthetic contribution. The exhibition will be marked by the unveiling of a major new installation: a 150-foot wrap-around panorama that offers a veritable Champs-Elysées of back alleys. A fully illustrated monograph, published in partnership with Coteau Books, will feature contributions by twelve notable Saskatchewan writers who respond through fiction, poetry and essays to Perreault’s evocative alleys. Complementing the retrospective is a new film by Jan Nowina-Zarzycki and Rob King that presents a portrait of the artist at work interspersed by responses from the many viewers he has touched.
The exhibition is organized and circulated by the MacKenzie Art Gallery with major funding support from the Museums Assistance Program at the Department of Canadian Heritage. The exhibition will tour in 2015 to the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie in Grande Prairie, Alberta.