“Through a physical and emotional engagement with materials, Bentham inscribes a narrative field reflecting his thoughts on history, culture, place, memory and emotion.”
– Dan Ring
Douglas Bentham was born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, in 1947. He lives and works in a rural setting near Saskatoon, SK. Bentham graduated with a BA Advanced degree in painting from the University of Saskatchewan in 1969. He received an MFA in sculpture from that institution in 1989.
Bentham has contributed to many international artists’ workshops throughout his career, including the Emma Lake Artists’ Workshop, SK; the Triangle Artists’ Workshop, New York, US; and the Hardingham Sculpture Workshop, Norfolk, UK. He has presented over fifty solo exhibitions across Canada, notably a national travelling exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, ON, in 1975, and a ten-year survey exhibition at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK, in 1980. The Mendel Art Gallery, in his home city of Saskatoon, presented a major exhibition of his work in 2005. A series of six large-scale works executed in Norfolk, UK, in 1990, and subsequently shown at the A.P.T. Gallery, London, UK, in 2007, were exhibited at Contemporary Calgary in 2014. The Gallery/Art Placement in Saskatoon, SK, held an exhibition of works from 2009-14 in 2014, and Bentham’s first ‘installation,’ The Tablets, consisting of 27 pedestal-scaled sculptures displayed on identical plinths was exhibited in five western Canadian public galleries from 2016 to 2018. More recently, small-scale sculptures in brass/bronze were displayed at the prestigious Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, ON, in 2019.
Douglas Bentham has participated in over one hundred group shows throughout his forty-five year career, notably Survey Of Canadian Art Now, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, in 1972; Abstract West, National Gallery of Canada (national travelling exhibition) in 1976; Certain Traditions: Recent British and Canadian Art, organized by Edmonton Art Gallery (international travelling exhibition) in 1978; Robert Murray, Douglas Bentham, André Fauteux, Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France, in 1979; The Flat Side of the Landscape: The Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK, in 1989; Navy Pier Walk 2001, 2003, Chicago, Ill; Fields of Colour, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB, in 2011; Modern Visions, Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK, in 2014; Shades of Grey, Gallery/Art Placement, Saskatoon, SK, in 2018; and most recently, a pedestal piece in brass/bronze is included in an international juried exhibition Totems, Beacon Gallery, Boston, MA, in 2020.
Bentham’s commissioned works grace many outdoor settings across the nation, particularly the monumental Untitled, 1979, at the University of Western Ontario, London; his signature stainless steel sculpture, Unfurled, 2006, in Saskatoon, SK; the painted steel sculpture Garland, 2008, on the campus of the University of Western Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa; and the dynamic Spirit, 2014, at Affinity Credit Union Campus, Saskatoon. Bentham won a national competition for ‘Skater’s Arch,’ a monumental circular structure in painted steel for Rogers Place Arena, Edmonton, AB, in 2017. He was commissioned to execute a large-scale wall sculpture, ‘Full Flight,’ in painted galvanized steel for Royal View Plaza, Calgary, AB, in 2016.
Douglas Bentham has received numerous honours and awards, most notably membership in the Royal Canadian Academy in 1976 and the recipient of the Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council in 1981.