Illingworth (Buck) Kerr - Earngey Lake, Near Kenora

  • Earngey Lake, Near Kenora
  • Oil on Canvas
  • 24 x 34 in
  • 1975
  • Price available on request
  • Loch Gallery, Toronto


signed, and on verso titled and dated 1975


Illingworth Holey Kerr was born in Lumsden, Saskatchewan in 1905. Kerr attended the Central Technical School, Toronto, and from 1924 to 1927 at the Ontario College of Art under teachers Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Frederick Varley and J.W. Beatty. He also studied at Westminster School of Art, London, in 1936.

 

Kerr taught at the Vancouver School of art from 1945 to 1947 and then came to Calgary to assume the role as director of the Art Department at the Provincial Institute of Technology (now the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology). Under Kerr, the Art Department split from the technical institute to become the Alberta College of Art (now the Alberta University of the Arts). Though still administrated by The Tech, Kerr believed that the art school's programming would gain the recognition it deserved if given autonomy from the technical college. In the end he was right—the school became an independent college in 1985.

 

Illingworth Kerr is best known for his prairie and foothills landscapes but he also dabbled in abstraction, and painted people and animals. His early landscape style reflects the influence of Lawren Harris and Kerr's exposure to the Group while in Ontario. He applied paint heavily, giving relief to an otherwise flat, spatial quality in his work. In later works Kerr used a broken brushstroke style that created visual tension to counteract this two dimensionality.

 

Kerr retired from teaching in 1967. He was given and honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary in 1973, and named to the Order of Canada in 1983. Harvest of the Spirit, a retrospective exhibition was shown at nine major public galleries in 1985. His work can be found in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, amongst many others

 

Illingworth Kerr died in Calgary in 1989.

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  • October 1926

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  • Georgian Bay Rocks, Cognashene

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  • Earngey Lake, Near Kenora

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  • 1975
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