Art Gallery of Alberta


Douglas Haynes
1936 – 2016

The Art Gallery of Alberta was sad to learn of the passing of Douglas Haynes, one of Edmonton’s foremost modernist abstract painters and educators.

Douglas Hector Haynes (R.C.A.) was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1936. Haynes studied art at the Provincial Institute of Technology & Art (now Alberta College of Art and Design) from 1954-1958. He furthered his studies in The Hague, Holland, spending 1960-1961 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He became an instructor in the Art and Design Department at the University of Alberta in 1970, a position he held until 1995. Haynes was elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974.

The Art Gallery of Alberta has had the privilege of exhibiting Haynes’ masterful and wide-ranging approaches to abstraction since 1962. In March of that year, Haynes had his then-Edmonton Art Gallery debut in the 10 One-Man Exhibitions Series, which featured notable local artists. In the following decades, Haynes exhibited extensively across Western Canada, and represented modernist painting in the prairies across the country, as well as internationally.

The Art Gallery of Alberta collection is home to 38 artworks by Haynes. His work is also in the collections of Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada, as well as numerous private collections.

The AGA hosted a retrospective of his work, Douglas Haynes: 25 Years in 2000. The Toledo Series was the feature of Haynes’ last exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta in 2015. When Haynes painted the series between 1988 and 1990, it marked an important shift in his artistic production—representing a move away from earlier experimentations with cubist abstraction to works with fields of vibrant colour set within dark glowing grounds. Over the four decades of his artistic career, Douglas Haynes’ work has constantly changed and evolved, influenced equally by the landscape, the history of art and the inherent challenges of his ongoing investigation into the creation and experience of abstract painting.

Haynes will be greatly missed—he was an incredible gift to our arts community. He has left behind a brilliant legacy through his insightful artworks and through all the artists he impacted as an educator. From all of us at the AGA, we extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Haynes family.