Bruce Head

1931 - 2010

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Works on Paper



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.


1953    University of Manitoba
1953    School of Art Graduate


1955    RCA Exhibition, Hamilton, Ontario
1959    Head – Tascona, Park Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
1959    1640 Gallery, Montreal, Que.
1959    New Design Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
1959    Blue Barn Gallery, Ottawa, Ont.
1963    Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, AB
1963    Western Ontario Exhibition, London, Ont.
1963    16th Annual, Hamilton Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ont.
1963    Four Man Wstern Art Circuit
1963    Hyman Alleyn Museum, New London, Connecticut
1963    Grant Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1964    Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, AB
1964    Pollack Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
1965    Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, Que.
1965    Grant Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1965    Sobot Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
1965    Art Institute of Ontario, Ont.
1965    Penthouse Gallery, Montreal, Que.
1965    Commonwealth Arts Festival, Cardiff, Wales
1965    Invitational, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, B.C.
1965    Canadian Art Today, Laurentian University
1965    Winnipeg Artists, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
1966    Canadian Prints, Watercolors, Drawings, National Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
1966    RCA Exhibition, Winnipeg, MB
1967    Blue Barn, Ottawa, Ontario
1967    Canadian Prints and Drawings in Australia, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
1968    Yellow Door Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1968   Canadian Prints and Drawings in Australia, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
1969    Four Winnipeg Artists,  Sarnia, London, Kitchener, Guelph, St. Catherines, Windsor, Ontario
1969    One Hundred and Fifty Years of Art in Manitoba
1971    Official Opening Exhibition, Winnipeg Art Gallery
1973    Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1973    Winnipeg Show, Winnipeg, MB
1973    Montreal Spring Show, Montreal, Que.
1973    Grand Rapids Art Gallery Invitational Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
1973    Young Contemporaries, London, Ontario
1973    Four Man Show, Public Library and Art Museum, London, Ontario
1973    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
1976    Cultural Mile, Province of Manitoba Olympic Exhibition
1976    RCA Manitoba Member
1980    Winnipeg Art Gallery
1980    Group Exhibit, Brian Meilnychenko Gallery
1980    Manitoba Flashback, Art Gallery of Perterborough
1985    Manitoba Theatre Centre
1986    Alliance for French Culture
1993    Achieving the Modern, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1993    Confederation Centre, Charlottetown, PEI, and Edmonton, AB
1993    Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
1994    Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ont.
1994    Mud island Group Exhibition, Zone Gallery, Winnipeg, MB
1994    Head/Mikuska, May House, Stonewall, Manitoba
1994    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
1957    5th, 6th, 7th Winnipeg Shows
1957    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
1984    University of Manitoba Alumni Promotional Print
1993    Curator, Ernest G. Wilson Exhibition (View From the Pain), University of Winnipeg


Graphics, Switzerland
Ideas, Japan
Art Director’s Club, New York, Montreal, Toronto
Arts Canada (1963)
Arts West (1979)
Print (1980)
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


Bruce Head

St. Boniface, Manitoba
1931 - 2010
Price range: $800 - $12,000