Duncan Regehr was born in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1952 and raised in Victoria, Canada. As a child he was encouraged by his father, artist Peter Regehr, to develop his talents. He later studied painting with Dutch surrealist Henry Poesiat. His studies also included literature, psychology and sociology.
His work of the last thirty-five years in the visual, performing and literary arts has evolved to establish him as a prolific multi-media artist of international prominence. Numerous art exhibitions in Canada, the USA, Britain and Europe have attracted the attention of museums, critics and the public. His paintings and written works are found in important collections worldwide including the Smithsonian Institute (USA), The Jilin Collection (China), The Kunsthallen (Copenhagen), Focus on the Masters Archives for the Getty Museum (USA) and the Syllavethy Collection of Scotland (UK).
Also a renowned actor, Duncan Regehr began performing Shakespeare at the age of fifteen. He has acted in and directed national and international productions for stage, film, radio and television. His poetry, articles, essays and books are widely published and presented through his lectures and readings. Regehr’s automonograph, The Dragon’s Eye, received international acclaim and was lauded by art critics and literary reviewers as a book of visual & poetic excellence. In 1996 he won the American Vision Award of Distinction in the Arts, and was granted the RCA in the year 2000 by the Royal Canadian Academy of Art for his outstanding artistic achievements. In 2008 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, BC Canada.
Regehr’s typical method of working is to develop a series of paintings, drawings and writings that project a common theme or philosophy. By delving into the collective subconscious and the psyche he produces images of an intensely personal nature. The work invites reciprocal identification by the viewer. Regehr formulates his own oils to produce jewel-like colours and multiple layers of glazed pigment which distinguish his paintings. His technique of scumbling and scraping in order to bring forth an image, can be likened to the process of therapeutically peeling back layers of the psyche and the imagination in order to expose truth. Through this process of searching, the unknown can be realized. Figurative mysteries initially presented as raw expression resolve into allegorical paintings that hold their form, line, colour and subject matter with equal importance.
Through the evocative and authoritative insights of his paintings and poetry we have come to know Regehr as an artist of great sensitivity. He possesses a rare ability to assess, analyze and reveal the complexities of life, culture, history and myth. His beautifully painted canvases, sculptures, and drawings are imbued with a deep, ageless quality. We sense the hand of an artist who invests his work with emotional intensity, exposing compelling images that are idiosyncratic and profoundly human in nature.