Knowles: through the years Exhibition

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Dorothy KNOWLES through the years

22. September - 10. October, 2018


KNOWLES OPENING RECEPTION: 22. September , 2018 from 2-5PM

artist in attendance


cover: “Dead Trees”, 1984 42” x 48” oil on canvas

inside cover: “Dead Trees”, 1984 (Detail) 42” x 48” oil on canvas

a beginning

In the spring of 1948, two young women from farms west of Unity, Saskatchewan, decided to enroll in a summer art course at Emma Lake, north of Prince Albert in the same province. One of them was Dorothy Knowles and the other was Alice McNab.1 This would be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the location for Knowles. The Emma Lake camp was later suggested by the head of the Regina Art School, Kenneth Lochhead, (in 1950) as a workshop for professional artists, to which Knowles attended on numerous occasions. Such instrumental artists (and critics) as; Jack Shadbolt (1955), Will Barnett (1957), & Barnett Newman (1959) were invited to instruct at Emma Lake. The workshops became nationally acclaimed after Newman’s instruction.


At the time there was an increasing movement towards abstraction. Abstraction was in the air, especially in Toronto and Montreal, though it was generally looked on with suspicion.1 6

Knowles dabbled, as most young artists did at the time, in abstraction but her heart was in the land. Encouraged by Clement Greenberg to continue on the path that was true to her, Knowles returned to her roots even though the popularity in landscape painting was waning at the time. She persevered and is today a preeminent figure in Canadian art and a vital member of the Saskatoon community.2

The Bank of Clouds (OC-009-65-2), 1965, oil on canvas, 28” x 36”


The Bank of Clouds (OC-009-65-2), 1965, oil on canvas, 28” x 36”




Summer Day, OC-029-87), 1987, oil on canvas, 32” x 46” detail image on page 16


Greenberg on Knowles: “...She was the only landscape painter I came across... whose work tended towards the monumental in the authentic way. ...�1



previous page: “Rotten Ice” (AC-015-86-3) 1986 acrylic on canvas 20” x 24”

right: “Bow Valley Series #17” OC-047-91 1991 oil on canvas 32” x 40”



“The way the world is so beautiful is something that is an enduring delight. It inspires me to recreate the beauty I see in nature.� -Dorothy Knowles





previous page: Dark Trees Across the Lake (OC-079-91-2) 1991 oil on canvas 30” x 70”

right: Roadside Weeds (AC-014-94-3) 1994 acrylic on canvas 30” x 36”



Light Blue Day, (AC-081-93), 1993, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 72”


Clouds over Prairie (AC-002-09), 2009, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 72”




previous page: Sandbar (AC-018-96-2 ) 1996 acrylic on canvas 60” x 72”

right: Rising Mist (AC-072-93-3) 1993 acrylic on canvas 20” x 24”


works on paper Knowles has always played in all mediums to challenge and push herself and the limits at what she could achieve with painting. She is always curious in nature and exploring the boundaries in her art.


Often she would paint on location from her mobile studio; a van. At times she also used photography as reference for the paintings she would be working on; always selecting and choosing elements (sometimes from various photos to achieve the desired creation. “Works on paper and drawings in charcoal, always done from the motif, have been a continuous presence in her art. They exhibited an even greater variety of approaches than did her works on canvas. ...�1



previous page: Road into the Mountains (WC-239-80 ) 1980 watercolour on paper 22” x 30”

right: Near Cochrane (WC-117-82) 1982 watercolour on paper 22” x 30”



Reflections of Clouds and Mountains, (AP-070-92), 1992, acrylic on paper, 25.75” x 40.25”



page 36, top: South of Hague (WC-164-82) 1982 watercolour on paper 22” x 30”


page 36, bottom left: East of Humbolt (WC-064-85) 1985 watercolour on paper 22” x 30“

page 36, bottom right: Spruce River Reservoir With Lilies (WC-123-86) 1986 watercolour on paper 22” x 30”


Shower, (AP-158-93), 1993, acrylic on paper, 22” x 30”


A Ranch in June, (WC-073-89), 1989, watercolour on paper, 22” x 30”


Landmarks; The Art of Dorothy Knowles”. text by Terry Fenton. 2008. Hagios Press, Toronto, Ontario. 1”

Dorothy Knowles”. 1994. Mendel Art Gallery, Curator; Bruce Grenville. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


2018 the contributors and Wallace Galleries ltd. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the gallery.

owner/director: Heidi Hubner director/designer: Colette Hubner images: Courtesy of Dorothy Knowles & Wallace Galleries