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Item Name: Painting
Title: Untitled (brambles)
Maker: Arthur McKay
Year: 1959
Country: Canadian
Materials: blackboard paint;paper
Measurements: overall: 71.5 cm x 57.5 cm
ID Number: PC83.1.35

Extended Label Info: This is a painting created by one of Saskatchewan’s most prominent abstract artists, Arthur McKay. Utilizing blackboard paint to create thick rough dark lines, this piece conveys the same unorganized chaos of a bramble bush. McKay was a member of the renowned group of abstract painters called the Regina Five, which was known for his modernist abstraction paintings and use of non-traditional art materials. Principles that define this art are: A rejection of history and conservative values (such as realistic depiction of subjects); innovation and experimentation with form (the shapes, colours and lines that make up the work); and an emphasis on materials, techniques and processes. The piece shown demonstrates these rules and sits as a great example of artwork at the time. Art McKay (1926-2000) was born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, settling in Regina in 1940. McKay attended the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary from 1946-48 and then at the Acedémie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in 1947. In 1951, McKay returned to Regina to teach at the School of Art (Regina Campus, University of Saskatchewan). In 1961, the National Gallery of Canada organized the exhibition of “Five Painters from Regina”. The famous American art critic, Clement Greenberg, played a major role in McKay’s development, including him in the 1964 Los Angeles County Museum exhibition called Post Painterly Abstraction. His paintings are now part of many public and corporate collections, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Vancouver Art Gallery, Shell Oil Ltd., the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the Canada Council Art Bank, the many others.