"Arrangements of brilliant, clearly defined geometric shapes, to evanescent sheets and bars of pulsating color… [Perehudoff’s works] are characterized by… a meticulous concern for design - manifest in austere layouts - and an unabashedly romantic quest for the Beautiful - in the form of ravishing color and surfaces.”

– Karen Wilkin, curator of the Artist's 2012 retrospective

William Perehudoff was a Canadian abstract painter from Langham, Saskatchewan. His broad canvases, brightly saturated colours, and neutral “fields” were informed by American abstraction as well as his Prairie setting. He was heavily influenced by the colourful abstract works of painters like Kenneth Noland and Amédée Ozenfant, and in the early 1960s Perehudoff attended several of the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshops held by Noland and Clement Greenberg. Greenberg was an enormously influential art critic who advocated for “formalist” painting: abstract works that explored colours, forms, textures, and compositional space rather than representation. Noland was a prominent American Colour Field painter. In the 1960s, Perehudoff’s bold colours, abstract shapes, and neutral grounds showed the influence of these workshops.


Along with Jack Bush, Perehudoff was a pioneer of Canadian abstract painting. By the 1980s he moved away from hard-edge geometric forms and developed a method of bleeding paints across unprimed canvas to create a wash of colour. Perehudoff would then apply broad strokes of an acrylic paint and gel mixture. The juxtaposition between the soft, thin wash on the canvas and the gleaming, saturated colours on top is characteristic of his work in the 1980s. In the latter half of the decade, Perehudoff began to paint "window-like opening[s]" surrounded by washes of colour. In many of his 1990s canvases he returned to the hard-edge geometry of his early works, and these paintngs often feature brightly saturated shapes on soft fields of colour. The artist once said that "when you listen to music, you hear it, and when you look at abstract painting, you see it."


Perehudoff's works are held in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Glenbow-Alberta Institute, and the Canada Council Art Bank, among other public and private institutions.
Art Fairs
Installation shots