Dorothy Knowles

by the water

September 15 - December 15, 2023

Kenderdine Art Gallery 

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 28th from 6:30 - 9:00PM; Opening Remarks at 6:30PM

by the water celebrates the remarkable and enduring career of artist Dorothy Knowles. Achieved during a period of artistic production spanning 70 years, Knowles’ prolific oeuvre marks a significant contribution to the history of painting in this province and beyond. The exhibition foregrounds her stylistic range through a comprehensive selection of paintings depicting Saskatchewan landscapes near various bodies of water: lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds. The works highlight Knowles’ ability to capture the essence of the prairies throughout the changing seasons, and evoke her intuitive understanding of the interrelatedness between art-making and the natural world.

by the water presents examples from five decades of Knowles’ painting practice, revealing an intimate connection to place that permeated both her life and work.
curator, Leah Taylor

Dorothy Knowles, The Orange Tree, 1993, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the University of Saskatchewan. Gift of the artist, 1995.
Dorothy Knowles, Christopher Lake in October, 1999, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of The GALLERY / Art Placement.

About the Artist

Dorothy Knowles (1927-2023) was born in Unity, Saskatchewan and earned a Bachelor of Art from the University of Saskatchewan in 1948 before furthering her studies of art at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 1951. In 1952, Knowles would transition to a career as a full-time artist. Knowles participated in the Emma Lake Artist’s Workshops at the Kenderdine Campus, first attending in 1948 and continued to participate in workshops throughout its illustrious history (1936-2012). There, she was influenced by both her contemporaries and the surrounding Northern Boreal landscape, and led a session of her own in 1990.

Knowles has been recognized with the Order of Merit of Saskatchewan (1987), an Honourary Doctorate of Law from the University of Saskatchewan (1994), is a Member of the Order of Canada (2004), and was awarded a Senate Commemorative Award (2018). Knowles has shown nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1969), Edmonton Art Gallery (1972; 1982) and the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina (2001), and has been included in numerous group exhibitions. From 2008-2010, her solo exhibition Landmarks travelled nationally, including the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon.