Artwork by Illingworth Holey Kerr,  Nocturne for Day

Illingworth Kerr
Nocturne for Day

acrylic on canvas board
signed lower left; signed, titled and dated 1987 on the reverse
12 x 16 ins ( 30.5 x 40.6 cms )

Having studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto between 1924 and 1927, Kerr’s practice was influenced by the Group of Seven members. Elements including curving brushwork influenced by Lawren Harris' works and the bright pigments not dissimilar to Frederick Varley's practice of using colour to invoke atmosphere, figured prominently throughout Kerr's career. With simplified forms of the mountain landscape and bright impressionistic colours to define light and shadow—greens and purples, respectively—Kerr captures the nighttime glow and stillness of the mountains with looser brushstrokes.

Share this item with your friends

Illingworth Holey Kerr
(1905 - 1989) RCA

Illingworth "Buck" Kerr was born in Lumsden, Saskatchewan in 1905. He studied at the Central Technical School in Toronto in 1924. From 1924 to 1927 Kerr studied under Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Frederick Varley, and J.W. Beatty at the Ontario College of Arts. Kerr also studied at the Westminster School of Art in London in 1936, as well as with Hans Hoffman in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1954. In 1955 and 1957 he attended Emma Lake Workshops. Kerr traveled the Georgian Bay area, Ontario in 1927, and England and France from 1960 to 1961. He taught at the Vancouver School of Art from 1945 to 1946 and was head of the Alberta College of Art from 1947 to 1967. He was a great influence and friend to many artists of that era. As well, from 1952 to 1953, he was president of the Alberta Society of Artists. Kerr was also a member of the Canadian Authors Association; he wrote many short stories and illustrated many publications including his autobiography, Gay Dogs and Dark Horses, in 1946. He received a Canada Council Award in 1960. He painted portraits, the life of Indigenous peoples, urban views, wildlife, and the Prairie and Ontario landscape. He used the media of oil, acrylic, watercolour, charcoal, and ink, as well as woodblock, linoblock, monotype and silkscreen prints.