- Spanish Wells, 1981
- 32.5" x 32.5", acrylic on canvas
1931 - 2010
St. Boniface, Manitoba
Price range: $800 - $12,000
Nationally-renowned Canadian artist Bruce Head RCA began drawing and sketching as an elementary school student in central Winnipeg and never looked back. Born in St. Boniface in 1931, he graduated from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 1953 and pursued a life-long passion for painting and sculpting, as well as graphic design. He was among the handful of young Manitoba artists whose work in the 1950s stimulated a dramatic surge in interest in contemporary art on the Canadian Prairies, and who rapidly came to represent a unique visual movement in their own rights.
Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) in the early 70s, Head, at the time, was the youngest Manitoban to be elected. He had been the recipient of numerous awards and had undertaken several public commissions. Among them is Canada’s longest in situ piece of art—at 421 feet in length, situated beneath the city’s fabled corner of Portage and Main—a circular, formed and sculpted concrete wall that Winnipeg Art Gallery guest curator Amy Karlinsky has described as “a work of stunning simplicity, efficiency, and aesthetic effect.” He took early retirement from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a graphic designer in the late 80s, building a large studio onto his home in south Winnipeg (where he worked constantly until his death in late 2009), exhibiting frequently in galleries primarily in Western Canada, and accepting occasional commissions.
Head’s insistence on the integrity of the creative process permeated his professional life. As a graphic designer for the CBC for many years, his work carried a uniquely recognizable energy and bold strength that reflects consistently in his canvas pieces and sculpture. Impatient with verbose, pseudo-intellectual forms of artistic interpretation, he defined his artistic philosophy as “what you see is what you get”. Canadian art historian, writer and consultant in the arts and not-for-profit sector Patricia Bovey called Head “a consummate artist, always experimenting, often using materials in unintended ways. Bruce Head has produced a large body of lyrical, richly textured, vibrantly colourful works… his primary inspirations are the land and the light.”
Head’s credits include solo exhibitions and participations in group shows across Canada. His work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Art gallery of Ontario, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the London Regional Gallery, the Confederation Centre, the Alberta College of Art, the Mendel Art Gallery and the Saidye Bronfman Centre, to name but a few. Reproductions of Head’s work have been published in international publications including Graphis in Switzerland, Ideas in Japan, the Art Directors Club in New York, Montreal and Toronto, Arts Canada, Who’s Who in American Art, and the International Who’s Who in Art and Antiques. A one-man show highlighting his smaller concrete sculptural pieces designed as garden art was appropriately held in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Conservatory in 2005.
Head’s first one-man show mounted by the Winnipeg Art Gallery occurred in 1973. In late 2008, a full retrospective consisting of more than 150 examples from his body of work over 50 years formed the largest one-man show ever mounted at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Of those works, Wallace Galleries is proud to be able to offer Split, Skyhook, and Anvil among its exclusive collection of Head’s works for sale in Calgary.
Born: 1931, St. Boniface, Manitoba
1953 University of Manitoba
1953 School of Art Graduate
1955 RCA Exhibition, Hamilton, Ontario
1959 Head – Tascona, Park Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1940 Gallery, Montreal, Que.
New Design Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Blue Barn Gallery, Ottawa, Ont.
1963/64 Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, AB
Western Ontario Exhibition, London, Ont.
16th Annual, Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ont.
Four Man Wstern Art Circuit
Hyman Alleyn Museum, New London, Connecticut
1963 Grant Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1964 Pollack Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
1965 Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, Que.
Grant Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Sobot Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
Art Institute of Ontario, Ont.
Penthouse Gallery, Montreal, Que.
Commonwealth Arts Festival, Cardiff, Wales
Invitational, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, B.C.
Canadian Art Today, Laurentian University
Winnipeg Artists, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
1966 Canadian Prints, Watercolors, Drawings, National Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
RCA Exhibition, Winnipeg, MB
1967 Blue Barn, Ottawa, Ontario
Canadian Prints and Drawings in Australia, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
1968 Yellow Door Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Canadian Prints and Drawings in Australia, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
1969 Four Winnipeg Artists, Sarnia, London, Kitchener, Guelph, St. Catherines, Windsor, Ontario
One Hundred and Fifty Years of Art in Manitoba
1971 Official Opening Exhibition, Winnipeg Art Gallery
1973 Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Winnipeg Show, Winnipeg, MB
Montreal Spring Show, Montreal, Que.
1973 Grand Rapids Art Gallery Invitational Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Young Contemporaries, London, Ontario
Four Man Show, Public Library and Art Museum, London, Ontario
Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
1974 The Prairies, Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, Que.
1975 9 Out of 10, Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ont.
1976 Spectrum Canada RCA, 1976 Olympic Exhibition
Cultural Mile, Province of Manitoba Olympic Exhibition
RCA Manitoba Member
1980 Winnipeg Art Gallery
Group Exhibit, Brian Meilnychenko Gallery
Manitoba Flashback, Art Gallery of Perterborough
1985 Manitoba Theatre Centre
1986 Alliance for French Culture
1993 Achieving the Modern, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, PEI, and Edmonton, AB
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
1994 Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ont.
Mud island Group Exhibition, Zone Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
Head/Mikuska, May House, Stonewall, Manitoba
Artists Circle, Triangle Gallery, Calgary, AB
1998 The Winnipeg Connection, Wallace Galleries Ltd., Calgary, AB
2008 Head Space: Five Decades of Bruce Head, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1957 Monsanto Canadian Art Exhibition
5th, 6th, 7th Winnipeg Shows
Twentieth Western Ontario Exhibition
1969 Eaton Graphics Award, Manisphere
1973 First: Haddassah Art Exhibit
1975 CBC Banner Competition, Vancouver, B.C.
1959 Manitoba Teachers’ College Mural
1972 Benson & Hedges Art Wall, Winnipeg, MB
1976 Woodsworth Building, main wall, Manitoba Government
1978 Museums Canada – Discovery train
1980 City of Winnipeg, Portage and Main Concourse
1983 Daniel MacIntyre C.I. Alumni Wall
1984 Phillips Paint 50th Anniversary Print
University of Manitoba Alumni Promotional Print
1993 Curator, Ernest G. Wilson Exhibition (View From the Pain), University of Winnipeg
Designer – Painter – Sculptor:
Art Director’s Club, New York, Montreal, Toronto
Arts Canada (1963)
Arts West (1979)
Who’s Who in American Art
Creative Canada, University of Victoria (1976)
International Who’s Who in Art and Antiques, Great Britain
Year of the Child, UNESCO, New York
Who’s Who in Canada, University of Toronto Press
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont. Zipper Courier, Head office
Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, Que. University of Winnipeg
London Public Library and Art Museum Sarnia Art Gallery
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ont. Westfair Food Ltd.
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB Hudson Bay House
University of Manitoba School of Architecture
University of Manitoba Medical Collage
Government of Manitoba, Department of Public Affairs
Canada Council/Art Bank
Lambton College, Sarnia
Law Society of Manitoba
Confederation Art Center, PEI
Great West Life Assurance Co.
Building Products, Winnipeg, MB
Smith Carter Partners
Number Ten Architectural Group
Freshwater Research Institute, University of Manitoba
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
Manitoba Telephone System
Winnipeg Public Library
Manitoba Theatre Centre
Merantile Bank, Winnipeg, MB
Head & Mayhew Exhibition e-Catalog 2022
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. They were 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.