Abstract paintings must be as real as those created by the 16th–century Italians.
In the summer of 1967 abstract painter Frank Stella taught a workshop at the University of Saskatchewan. His time there inspired a series of paintings named for places in the Canadian province, including Lac La Ronge, a scenic lake. Stella had already been working on a series of paintings on shaped (non–rectangular) canvases with designs based on patterns made with protractors. The Saskatchewan series continued to explore some of the same patterns—specifically the circle and a four-petaled motif—but within a rectangle or square.
With the Saskatchewan series, Stella continued his exploration of the figure–ground relationship (the relationship of the surface to the images depicted on it). As art historian Robert Rosenblum observed of these paintings, “these restless arcs strain their boundaries, exchanging positions in depth, brusquely switching roles of visual priority, pressing inward and outward, forward and backward for completion of their fragmentary shapes and abruptly interrupted energies.”