Head & Mayhew Exhibition October 2022

Page 1


1 - 26 October, 2022


front page images:

LEFT: Bruce Head, Egad Egon, 1996, 42” x 48.5”, acrylic on canvas

RIGHT: Elza Mayhew, Triptych,, 1963, 35” x 45”, mixed media on panel 2

1 - 26 October, 2022 &



SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022 from 2-5 PM preview: September 29-30, 2022

Bruce Head (1931 Elza Mayhew (1916-2004)
- 2010)

These two brilliant artists come together in a unique exhibition to celebrate their life work. Albeit from different provinces, they knew each other and followed each other’s work with interest, tied to a similar aspiration; to make art for art’s sake. Both Head and Mayhew create works that are about the visual language of art, not the verbal. Be it painting or sculpture, the idea was to appreciate the art outside of an artist statement or explanation; to appreciate the lines, colour, and form intuitively. To immerse yourself in these works of art is like exploring the unknown and to be lost (or found) in the visual world for which they each created. Their aspiration and energy are apparent. The organic forms that they each draw upon is a link to humanity and an exploration of the unknown.


a little about Bruce Head

Bruce Head graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 1953, one of a handful of young Manitoba artists whose work sparked a dramatic surge in interest in contemporary art in Western Canada, and who came to represent a unique, Prairie-based visual movement.

Head’s insistence on the integrity of the creative process permeated his professional life. As a graphic designer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he brought uniquely recognizable energy and bold strength to his work– energy that reflects consistently in his canvasses and sculptures.

He exhibited in almost every province in Canada in both group and one-man shows, and his work is housed in corporate collections across the country.

Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in the early seventies (at the time the youngest Mani toban to be elected), he took early retirement from the CBC in the late eighties, building a large studio onto his home in south Winnipeg where he worked constantly, exhibiting frequently in galleries primarily in Western Canada, and accepting occasional commissions.


a little about Elza Mayhew

Elza Mayhew graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts, double honours in French and Latin in 1936. Mayhew studied under renowned artist and teacher Jan Zach in Victoria from 1955-58. Zach was instrumental in opening the local Victoria community to contemporary art at the time. Later Mayhew finished her studies at the University of Oregon to receive her Masters in Fine Arts in 1963.

In 1964, Mayhew, along with Harold Town, was invited to represent Canada at the Venice Biennale. Mayhew would go on to partake and be invited to innumerable exhibitions, such as; International Trade Fair in Tokyo in 1965, Expo ‘67, Spectrum Canada, RCA Exhibition for the Olympic Games in 1976, Sculpture Canada ‘78, Toronto, London, Brussels, Paris, and Expo ‘86 in Vancouver to name a few.

Mayhew was elected into the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974. She received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Victoria in 1989.

Mayhew’s works were very much inspired by her interest and passion for Latin history and her time spent in 1953-54 in Japan. The fascination with the past, present and future are predominant and reiterated in her works. Her preoccupation with human interaction with the environment resonates through her works.

Bruce Head

“I always loved colour. We were away in the winter to Mexico and I loved it because the colour was different. I loved seeing what Molinarli did in putting colours together. My Colour is more intuitive than any theories. I love Blue and green.”- Bruce Head2


2 Bruce Head interview with Patricia Bovey, October 22, 2004

Previous page detail & following page:

Bruce Head, Night Skyline, no date, 48” x 48”, acrylic on board

Bruce Head
Untitled, 1967 24” x 32” acrylic on board
Bruce Head
Untitled, 1969 24” x 32” acrylic on board
Boxed In, x acrylic on board
14 Bruce Head,
1999, 47”

Work never ends up as it starts - it evolved;

I have the right to change the work however I want. - Bruce Head2

Egad Egon sprang from a lengthy visit to Europe in the early 1990s, where we explored Vienna’s art museums and Bruce saw collections of both Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele’s work. He found Schiele’s use of colour interesting in the relatively rare abstract landscapes he produced (Schiele is mostly known for his portrait work). Hence the title-- but

I suspect the piece visually connects better to our yearly Mexico trips, which often coincided with the local versions of Mardi Gras in the streets, and were explosions of joyful colour in a country where colour is king. (curtesy of Judy Waytiuk)

Bruce Head, Egad Egon, 2996, 42” x 48.5”, acrylic on canvas
18 Bruce Head Spanish Wells 1987 32.5” x 32.75” acrylic on sewn canvas

Spanish Wells is the view from the sea-facing balcony of the small hotel where we stayed in the tiny Bahamian out-island of Spanish Wells. Ocean-going freighters often went by, far out in the deep passage between Spanish Wells and a few further out-islands-- the only moving objects in the space that seemed to stretch forever.

Bruce Head, Wheels - aka Boxed-In, ca. 2005 , 48” x 48”, acrylic on board

Provenance: Judy Waytuik Collection; exhibited & shown in the Winnipeg Art Gallery Exh ibition, HeadSpace: Five Decades of Bruce Head & illustrated in HeadSpace Exhibition Catalogue

Bruce Head, Winter Garden, 2007 , 42” x 48”, acrylic on canvas
Bruce Head, Zoby, Belize, 1995, 36” x 48”, acrylic on board 22
23 Bruce Head, Untitled, 2007, 17.75” x 26.75” acrylic on paperBruce Head, Untitled, 22” x 36.5” acrylic on paper



“The more sculpture I make, the more wordless I have become. You don’t think in verbal terms. I don’t even think about my work anymore, I just make it.” - Elza Mayhew1

1 As quoted by Frank Nowosad, “Vertical inspiration”, Monday Magazine, December 1978.


The sculpture [Spirit ] is a labor of obsessive love. Modulation upon modulation are piled and organized into an imposing totem. That the work is vaguely figurative, with a commanding spirit, almost religious, is secondary to the unending complexity of surface modulation…. The end result is ritualistic. To run your eye up to this tower is a ceremony. For the artist the tight ritual comes from a formlessness left behind. Glenn Howarth, Victoria Daily Times, 1971.


Elza Mayhew

Iphigenia (Small), 1961

Height: 12” x Width: 20” x Depth: 7.5” compund stone + Wenge wood base


Mayhew, Dynast,



28 Elza
1979, Height:10.375” x Width:
x Depth:
bronze AP

Sculptures by Elza Mayhew at the Port Angeles Fine Art Centre…. There is a classical calm. Mayhew’s works are usually symmetrical, roughly geometric, at rest…. There’s a peacefulness which bespeaks ancient roots.

In 1988 art is often cynical, fragmented, bound up in its own psychoses. Mayhew’s work stands above all that: patient, engaging, composed. Robert Amos, “Mayhew works displayed perfectly in idyllic setting”, Times-Colonist, 1988.

opposite page: Elza Mayhew, Triptych, 1976, Height:6.5” x Width: 4.375” x Depth: 1.5”, bronze, unique


32 opposite page: Elza Mayhew, Earth 1959, Height:24” x Width: 12” x Depth: 12”, bronze 3/6


Elza Mayhew, Infanta, 1975, Height: 2” x Width: 2.75” x Depth: 1.5”, bronze edition 10

35Elza Mayhew, Star Piece 1983, Height: 6.5” x Width: 2” x Depth: 7/8”, bronze

“My sculptures are very central. There are verticals and horizontals but few diagonals. They are highly structured and very architectural but they always relate to the human form. Many societies found security for themselves and their towns in columns or archways.

Totems give a terrific feeling of security and they also mark time. They tie people to their past and future and I feel that my works are likewise - markers in time and of a place.” - Elza Mayhew 3

3A Passion for Art; the Art and Dynamics of the Limners, Sono Nis Press, Victoria, BC. 1996. by Patricia Bovey.



Queen, 1975, Height: 15” x Width: 12” x Depth: 8”, bronze 6/6

Elza Mayhew, Blossom Lady, ca. 1978, Height: 9.75” x Width: 2.75” x Depth: 1.5”, bronze 1/6


Elza Mayhew, Little Dancer, ca. 1975, Height: 7” x Width: 2.5” x Depth: 2.5”, bronze 6/6


40 Elza Mayhew, Kin, 1975, Height: 7.5” x Width: 11” x Depth: 3.75”, bronze 1/6
41 Elza Mayhew, Triangle Temple, ca. 1970, Height: 7” x Width: 5.5” x Depth: 5.25”, bronze 3/3
Open: Tuesday to Friday & Saturdays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm 11:00 am - 4:00 pm Closed: Mondays, Sundays & statutory holidays. Private appointments upon request. Phone 403.262.8050 Toll Free 1.877.962.8050 Fax 403.264.7112 info@wallacegalleries.com www.wallacegalleries.com

Wallace Galleries is one of Calgary’s most dynamic art gal leries and home to many outstanding contemporary Canadian artists. Established in 1986 and located in the downtown core, our gallery is a fam ily-run business with the goal of making art a p art of your life as much as it is a part of ours.

wE providE

Fine Art Consultation

Corporate consultation & Leasing



FIFTH AVE SW CALGARY, AB 403.262.8050 wallacegalleries.com 403.262.8050 info@wallacegalleries.com

• Appraisals • Approvals •
Services •
& Gift Registry • Shipping, Placement, and Art

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the gallery directors: Heidi Hubner & Colette Hubner design & text: Colette Hubner

2022 the contributors & Wallace Galleries ltd.