Tony Urquhart

About the Artist

Tony Urquhart was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1934. From 1954 to 1958 he studied at the Albright Art School, part of the State University of New York at Buffalo, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1955 he also attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School in New Haven, Connecticut.

Urquhart gained recognition early in his career as an  abstractImagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees. Abstract artists select and then exaggerate or simplify the forms suggested by the world around them.  (Artlex.com)  painter, and was invited to have his works displayed at the famous Isaacs Gallery in Toronto, Ontario while still a 22-year-old student. Two years later, after he graduated, Urquhart embarked on the first of many trips to Europe, where he was attracted to what he called the “otherness” of the visual experience he encountered there. He was particularly attracted to the landscape, architecture and pilgrimage sites that he visited. These sites included the Catholic shrine at Lourdes and the Canadian Vimy Ridge Memorial, in Vimy, France.

In 1960 Urqhuart became the first artist-in-residence at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. He taught there and then at the University of Waterloo until his retirement in 1999. During his time in London he became a central figure in a group of artists that included Greg Curnoe, Murray Favro, Jack Chambers and others. Collectively the group was known as the “London Scene.”

Urquhart was one of the founding members in 1967 of Canadian Artists Representation/Front des Artistes Canadiens (CARFAC), an organization that successfully established a fee structure for public museum and gallery exhibitions of  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  artists.

Besides maintaining his successful art practice Urquhart has also illustrated books by his wife Jane Urquhart and other Canadianauthors such as Michael Ondaatje, Matt Cohen, Louis Dudek and Rohinton Mistry. His work is represented in many private and public collections nationally and internationally. Urquhart was named to the Order of Canada in 1995. He lives and works in Stratford, Ontario.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning